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Physiol Behav. 2007 Dec 5;92(5):924-30. Epub 2007 Jul 5.

Comparison of hydrogenated vegetable shortening and nutritionally complete high-fat diet on limited access-binge behavior in rats.

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University of Cincinnati, Department of Psychiatry, ML # 0506, Reading, OH 45237, United States.


Previous studies have suggested that intermittent exposure to hydrogenated vegetable shortening yields a binge/compensate pattern of feeding in rats. The present study was designed to assess whether rats would exhibit similar patterns of intake when given intermittent access to a nutritionally complete high-fat diet. Four groups of rats received varying exposure to either hydrogenated vegetable shortening or high-fat diet for 8 consecutive weeks. Animals were given daily and intermittent access to determine if the binge/compensate pattern of feeding was frequency dependent. At the conclusion of the study, body composition and plasma leptin levels were assessed to determine effects of diet and binge/compensate intake on endocrine alterations. As predicted, animals receiving intermittent access to high-fat diet displayed the binge/compensate pattern of feeding and appeared to compensate as a result of the caloric overload accompanying a particular binge episode. In addition, exposure to either shortening or high-fat diet led to alterations in body composition, while only exposure to shortening altered plasma leptin levels. These results suggest that binge-intake behavior occurs on a nutritionally complete high-fat diet and that this regimen is capable of altering both body composition and endocrine profile.

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