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Physiol Behav. 1982 Mar;28(3):569-73.

Flavor preferences, food intake, and weight gain in baboons (Papio sp.).


To evaluate the influence of flavor on ad lib consumption and on associated changes in body weight, female baboons, 7-15 years of age, served in two experiments with seven monkey chows which were identical except for flavor: lemon, orange, apple, sugar, fruit punch, chocolate, and unflavored. In the first experiment, two groups of animals (n=7 and 4) received five of the seven flavors, presented in daily pair-wise combinations. Analysis of quantities consumed demonstrated marked and consistent flavor preferences in individual baboons. Although specific preference varied between animals, total amounts consumed of the various flavors differed significantly, with rank ordering clearly evident. Overall food intake and body weights increased significantly over baseline values obtained with a standard, unflavored chow. In the second experiment, three baboons received chow of a preferred flavor for nine weeks. Amounts consumed and body weights increased significantly over baseline. These results indicate that flavored chows may be useful for producing a nonhuman primate behavioral model of obesity and for inducing animals to eat otherwise unpalatable diets.

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