Accession Number:

ADA458876

Title:

Effects of Environmental Conditions on Activity, Feeding, and Body Weight in Male and Female Adolescent Rats

Descriptive Note:

Doctoral thesis

Corporate Author:

UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD DEPT OF MEDICAL AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2006-03-31

Pagination or Media Count:

231.0

Abstract:

Excessive body weight, particularly in children, is a growing concern in the United States and around the world. Body weight is affected by feeding behavior and physical activity. Environmental factors affect feeding behaviors and physical activity therefore, environment is an important influence on body weight. Three separate experiments examined the behavioral effects of environmental enrichments on feeding, activity, and body weight. For the first two experiments, subjects were 36 adolescent, male Experiment I and 36 adolescent female Experiment II Sprague-Dawley rats. Experiment III examined the behavioral effects of enrichment on 24 male and 24 female adolescent Sprague-Dawley rats. Responses to environmental enrichment included body weight BW, Body Mass Index score BMI, Lee Index score LI, consumption of standard rat chow, Oreo cookies, and Lays potato chips, and physical activity PA in the animals home cage HCA and in an open field OF. The major findings from these experiments were that 1 environmental enrichment results in lower body weight, 2 environmental enrichment decreased food consumption, especially the bland foods, 3 animals housed in environmental enrichment were less active in novel surroundings and were more active in their home cages compared to animals in non-enriched housing, and 4 males and females responded similarly to environmental enrichment with regard to body weight, feeding, and physical activity. These findings highlight the importance of the effects of housing conditions in animal research and suggest ways to help control body weight in animals and humans.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE