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To understand childhood obesity, researchers look to inactive, fat rats
Date:7/24/2012

BETHESDA, Md. (July 24, 2012)Childhood obesity has nearly tripled in the past three decades, and by 2009, 17 percent of those 2-19 years of age were classified as obese. If actions against childhood obesity do not take place it is likely that today's children could be the first generation in over a century to experience a decline in life expectancy due to the epidemic of childhood obesity which leads to complications in later life. While little is known about how inactivity and obesity lead to undesirable side effects such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers, scientists at the University of Missouri in Columbia have reviewed dozens of studies that look at childhood obesity using new animal models. The scientists suggest that the models could be key to better understanding the condition and its complex relationship to certain diseases.

The article is entitled "Potential Clinical Translation of Juvenile Rodent Inactivity Models to Study the Onset of Childhood Obesity." It appears in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology, published by the American Physiological Society.

Using Inactive, Fat Rats to Study Juvenile Obesity

Lead author Dr. Michael Roberts and his colleagues have written a review article outlining previous research, including some of their own studies, on various animal models that simulate childhood obesity through inactivity. The researchers concentrate specifically on a particular example, called the rodent wheel lock model, to study how different organ systems of young rats respond to a cessation of daily physical activity. This model houses rats in cages with running wheels starting at 28 days of age, which the animals voluntarily use for the next three to six weeks. After that period, the wheels are locked, preventing their primary source of physical activity.'/>"/>

Contact: Donna Krupa
dkrupa@the-aps.org
301-634-7209
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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