Feeding and metabolic consequences of scheduled consumption of large, binge-type meals of high fat diet in the Sprague–Dawley rat

T. Bake, D.G.A. Morgan, J. G. Mercer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Providing rats and mice with access to palatable high fat diets for a short period each day induces the consumption of substantial binge-like meals. Temporal food intake structure (assessed using the TSE PhenoMaster/LabMaster system) and metabolic outcomes (oral glucose tolerance tests [oGTTs], and dark phase glucose and insulin profiles) were examined in Sprague–Dawley rats given access to 60% high fat diet on one of 3 different feeding regimes: ad libitum access (HF), daily 2 h-scheduled access from 6 to 8 h into the dark phase (2 h-HF), and twice daily 1 h-scheduled access from both 1–2 h and 10–11 h into the dark phase (2 × 1 h-HF). Control diet remained available during the scheduled access period. HF rats had the highest caloric intake, body weight gain, body fat mass and plasma insulin. Both schedule-fed groups rapidly adapted their feeding behaviour to scheduled access, showing large meal/bingeing behaviour with 44% or 53% of daily calories consumed from high fat diet during the 2 h or 2 × 1 h scheduled feed(s), respectively. Both schedule-fed groups had an intermediate caloric intake and body fat mass compared to HF and control (CON) groups. Temporal analysis of food intake indicated that schedule-fed rats consumed large binge-type high fat meals without a habitual decrease in preceding intake on control diet, suggesting that a relative hypocaloric state was not responsible or required for driving the binge episode, and substantiating previous indications that binge eating may not be driven by hypothalamic energy balance neuropeptides. In an oGTT, both schedule-fed groups had impaired glucose tolerance with higher glucose and insulin area under the curve, similar to the response in ad libitum HF fed rats, suggesting that palatable feeding schedules represent a potential metabolic threat. Scheduled feeding on high fat diet produces similar metabolic phenotypes to mandatory (no choice) high fat feeding and may be a more realistic platform for mechanistic study of diet-induced obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-79
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Early online date8 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2014


  • temporal feeding analysis
  • palatability
  • scheduled feeding
  • binge eating
  • diet-induced obesity
  • rat


Dive into the research topics of 'Feeding and metabolic consequences of scheduled consumption of large, binge-type meals of high fat diet in the Sprague–Dawley rat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this