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Physiol Behav. 2016 Oct 1;164(Pt A):151-6. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.05.050. Epub 2016 May 31.

Individual differences in saccharin acceptance predict rats' food intake.

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School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Australia. Electronic address:
School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Australia.
Faculty of Health Sciences and Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Australia.


Following previous results indicating that low acceptance of saccharin-sweetened yoghurt was associated with slower weight gain, the aim of this experiment was to determine which of three measures of individual differences would predict subsequent chow consumption, body weight gain, and fat mass. Pre-test measures consisted of amount of running in an activity wheel, amount of 0.1% saccharin solution consumed over 24h, and performance on an elevated plus maze (EPM). Rats were then maintained for three weeks on a diet of standard chow and water. Subsequent post-testing repeated the procedures used in pre-testing. The rats were then culled and fat pads excised and weighed. Pre-testing revealed a negative correlation between saccharin acceptance and activity, while neither measure correlated with anxiety in the EPM. Pre-test saccharin acceptance was positively correlated with subsequent chow consumption, percent weight gain, and g/kg fat mass. Multiple regression analyses including all three pre-test measures confirmed saccharin acceptance as a predictor of chow consumption and, marginally, of fat pad mass, while high anxiety predicted low percent body weight gain.


Fat mass; Fat pads; Food intake; Individual differences; Rats; Saccharin; Weight gain; Wheel running

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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