Effect of dietary macronutrients on food intake, body weight, and tail width in the marsupial S. crassicaudata

Kar Loong Ng, Rosalie Vozzo, Perdita J. Hope, Ian M. Chapman, John E. Morley, Michael Horowitz, Gary A. Wittert

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The role of dietary fat, as opposed to total energy intake, in the etiology of obesity is controversial. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of macronutrient content, specifically changes in dietary fat on body weight, fat stores, and food intake in S. crassicaudata, a marsupial that stores about 25% of total body fat in its tail. Female animals were divided into three groups (n = 7-9) matched for food intake per gram of body weight. Each group of animals was fed, ad lib, an isocaloric diet (1.01 kcal/g), which contained either 10, 20, or 40% of calories from fat. Body weight, food intake, and tail width (an index of body fat stores) were measured daily. Over 21 days, cumulative energy intake was less (p = 0.026) in the 40% fat group compared to the 10% fat group. Despite the differences in food intake, body weight in each group remained stable throughout the study, so that at day 21 there were no differences in the body weights between the three groups. In contrast, tail width increased in the animals who received the 40% fat diet compared to either the 10% (p = 0.016) or 20% (p = 0.001) fat intake groups, whereas there was no significant change in tail width in either of these two groups. These observations indicate that macronutrient composition has a role, independent of total calories in the regulation of food intake and body fat stores, specifically that dietary fat promotes adiposity, independent of total caloric intake. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Mar 1999


  • Body weight
  • Dietary fat
  • Fat stores
  • Food intake
  • Marsupial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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