Degree Name

Master of Science (Hons.)


Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences


Recent population studies indicate that energy intake is decreasing while the prevalence of obesity continues to rise (Bray and Popkin, 1998). This may be due to the consumption of a high fat diet by western cultures, an increasing sedentary hfestyle or an interplay between both factors. Previous work by Pierce (1998), describing a chance observation that rats that had eaten a high fat diet exercised less than controls, suggests that eating fat per se may diminish physical activity. Aims The aim of the present study was to determine whether: a) intake of dietary fat; or b) a higher than normal body weight; or c) a combination of the two (a and b), affects voluntary physical activity in rats.