Master of Science (MS)


Human Ecology

Document Type



Anorexia nervosa is the third most common illness among adolescent females. Approximately one half the cases of anorexia nervosa have been suggested to be activity-induced. Various animal studies have been used to study human anorexia, particularly the activity-based anorexia model (ABA). The ABA paradigm consists of diet restriction and liberal access to activity, which ultimately results in a rapid decrease in both body weight and food intake paradoxical to the significant increase in activity. Because resistant starch (RS) has been shown to initiate a lower rise and a steady level of post-prandial blood glucose, it was hypothesized that a diet containing RS would reduce the severity of the anorexia associated with the ABA model. In this study, 56 five-wk old male Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to 8 groups. Animals were fed a control diet (C-diet) or a RS-diet, on an ad libitum or a restricted-feeding (one 90min meal per day) schedule, and allowed 22-hr of access or no access to activity wheels. The study ended when majority of the ABA rats reached <75% of their pre-experimental bodyweights. Within 4 days of the experiment, ABA rats on the RS-diet lost an average 66g of bodyweight compared to an average loss of 31g in the C-diet (p<0.01). ABA rats on the RS-diet ran 31% more (NS), despite consuming 30% fewer calories per kg body weight, than those on the C-diet (p<0.01). ABA rats fed the RS-diet had 3.97 times higher levels of plasma norepinephrine (NE) compared to their associated controls (p<0.0001); ABA rats fed the C-diet had only 1.4 times the NE level of their corresponding controls (NS). All RS-fed rats had an average of 17-50% less fat pad (brown, perirenal, epididymal, & retroperitoneal) weights compared to C-fed rats (p<0.02). Resistant starch exacerbates rather than mitigates the responses to the ABA paradigm.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Roy J. Martin



Included in

Human Ecology Commons