The SD (Sprague–Dawley) rat model of DIO (diet-induced obesity) is reported to exhibit a clear segregation into susceptible and resistant subpopulations shortly after transfer to a HE (high energy) diet. This does not appear to be the case for rats sourced in the U.K., where body weight gain on obesogenic HE diet is normally distributed, as might be anticipated for a polygenic trait in an outbred population. Many of the energy balance effects of dietary manipulation in this model (e.g. supplementation of HE diet with the liquid diet, Ensure; energy intake and defence of body weight following withdrawal of obesogenic diet) appear to be characteristics of the diets being manipulated rather than subject traits. The activities of energy balance-related hypothalamic signals are affected by diet and the development of DIO, but may not be able to differentiate between different diets and the relative levels of obesity that develop.

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