A predictive model of rat calorie intake as a function of diet energy density

Rahmatollah Beheshti, Yada Treesukosol, Takeru Igusa, Timothy H. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Easy access to high-energy food has been linked to high rates of obesity in the world. Understanding the way that access to palatable (high fat or high calorie) food can lead to overconsumption is essential for both preventing and treating obesity. Although the body of studies focused on the effects of high-energy diets is growing, our understanding of how different factors contribute to food choices is not complete. In this study, we present a mathematical model that can predict rat calorie intake to a high-energy diet based on their ingestive behavior to a standard chow diet. Specifically, we propose an equation that describes the relation between the body weight (W), energy density (E), time elapsed from the start of diet (T), and daily calorie intake (C). We tested our model on two independent data sets. Our results show that the suggested model can predict the calorie intake patterns with high accuracy. Additionally, the only free parameter of our proposed equation (p), which is unique to each animal, has a strong correlation with their calorie intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R255-R266
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • High-energy diet
  • Palatability
  • Predictive model
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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