Does the rate
of food intake
Questions to ask based on data from Unrestricted Intake Experiments:
1. Do rats reduce the rate of consumption toward the end of a meal?
2. Do individual rats exhibit consistent feeding behaviors each week? i.e. If an individual rat eats relatively small (or large) amounts for one trial, does he eat relatively small (or large) amounts for subsequent trials?
3. Is the rate of consumption, total intake, and meal duration consistent from week to week for individual rats and for the entire group? i.e. Is the feeding behavior during the first trial a reliable predictor of behaviors in subsequent trials?
4. Is the meal duration correlated with the rate of eating?
5. Is the total intake correlated with the rate of eating?
6. Is total intake correlated with body mass of the rat?
7. Are any of the parameters (meal duration, rate of eating, total intake) affected by history of exposure? (i.e. The 20 rats in the current study were previously used for another study in which ten rats (identified as C rats) were never given Froot Loops over a 28 day study period and the other 10 rats (identified as R7 rats) were fed Froot Loops ad libitum for two hours every day over that same 28 day study period.)
8. Mary Boggiano and colleages classify Sprague-Dawley rats as binge-eating prone (BEP), binge-eating resistant (BER) or neither based on their tendency to overeat or undereat with respect to their peers. We ask if it is possible to identify BEPs and BERs within our study population?
9. For experiments in which the rate of intake is to be restricted to half that of the unrestricted rate, should the average rate for all 20 rats be used for each rat OR should the restricted rate of feeding be individually adjusted so that each rat is being fed at half its unrestricted rate?