Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Frederick J. Kozub


The purpose of this study was to explore the capacities of male and female gerbils for recovery from increased weight gain produced by ingestion of high fat food. Thirty-six gerbils, assigned to either 20% or 40% groups with nine males and nine females in each percent weight gain group, were fed powdered chow under baseline conditions, then switched to a high fat diet until they reached target weight increase, and then returned to powdered chow. The 40% group was eliminated from the comparisons due to the failure of the gerbils to reach criterion. No sex differences were found in the 20% gerbils weight gains to target weights. They drank significantly less water when eating the powdered chow, and there was a marginal interaction of diet condition and sex on calorie consumption, with the male and females consuming similar caloric amounts on the high fat diet.. There was no "voluntary diminution" of food intake during the early days of recovery. It was concluded that food contamination and the young age of the gerbils were confounding variables, and recommendations for future research were made.

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