Meal patterns in the genetically obese Zucker rat: A reexamination

Thomas W. Castonguay, David E. Upton, Philip M B Leung, Judith S. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The meal patterns of four obese and four lean female Zucker rats were analyzed using five different intermeal interval definitions in combination with four minimum meal size definitions. Results from these 20 analyses revealed that obese rats typically initiate fewer but larger meals than their lean littermates. However, these general findings were not always observed with the use of particular combinations of intermeal interval and minimum meal size definitions. The interaction between meal pattern analysis parameters and rat genotype led to a second series of statistical analyses. Results from these procedures revealed that unlike the "nibble-eat" pattern of intake that characterizes lean rats, obese rats seem to initiate three classes of meals; the very small meal, the typical meal, and the "super-meal." It is suggested that the analysis of the meal patterns of Zucker rats incorporate relatively large minimum meal size definition with at least two intermeal interval definitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-916
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1982


  • Food intake
  • Intermeal interval
  • Meal pattern analysis
  • Meal size
  • Obesity
  • Zucker rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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