Obesity from Eating Elicited by Daily Stimulation of Hypothalamus
Rats who were forced to overeat wet mash by electrical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus 2 hr/day for 31 days became obese by maintaining an intake and rate of weight gain far greater than nonstimulated animals or animals similarly stimulated without food present. This chapter determines whether electrical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus (ESLH) in albino rats has a strong enough effect so that it can produce enough overeating, consistently over a period of days, to override the effects of weight-regulating mechanisms and cause rats to become appreciably obese. It explores how such stimulation in the absence of food will affect immediate and subsequent intake and body weight. The chapter provides information on an experiment that determined how accurately rats forced by electrical stimulation to eat at a single session a considerable fraction of their daily caloric needs will compensate by reducing their intake during the rest of the day.