1. Adult male hooded rats which were offered a mixed, high energy diet for 90 days were hyperphagic and became significantly obese compared to chow‐fed control rats. Fasting plasma insulin and glucose levels were initially elevated in the experimental rats, but later in the 90 day period were similar to control levels. 2. When the high energy foods were withdrawn after 90 days and just chow was available, the obese rats maintained the elevated body weights. The obese rats were initially hypophagic, but chow intakes rapidly reached control levels. Plasma insulin and glucose levels were similar in both groups, suggesting that the persisting obesity may not be associated with altered insulin resistance. 3. Five weeks after withdrawal of the ‘fattening’ diet, half of the experimental rats were offered restricted access to chow for 27 days to reduce their weights to control levels. When the rats were again given free access to chow, they returned to the previously elevated weight. 4. Eighteen weeks after withdrawal of the ‘fattening’ diet, the experimental rats had significantly elevated body weights and fat stores. The elevated body weight was not simply due to increased growth because, although the experimental rats had slightly more lean body mass than the control rats, the increase in fat was not related to body size.
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