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Voluntary wheel running reduces weight gain in mice by decreasing high-fat food consumption

Cordeira, Joshua, Monahan, Daniel
Physiology & behavior 2019 v.207 pp. 1-6
adults, exercise, food consumption, food intake, high fat foods, humans, males, mice, models, obesity, weight gain
We investigated whether wheel running for just 30 min on 5 days each week, an exercise routine based on recommended levels of physical activity for adults, regulates body weight and food intake in mice. Male C57BL/6 mice were divided into groups and given ad libitum access to high-fat food and standard chow or standard chow only. For 30 min on 5 days each week, mice were treated with an in-cage running wheel which was either open to allow voluntary exercise or locked and could not rotate for control. Wheel running reduced weight gain and fat mass among mice fed high-fat food and standard chow, but not mice fed standard chow only. Wheel running decreased high-fat food consumption. Standard chow intake was unchanged. Mice provided with a locked running wheel but pair-fed the same amount of food as wheel running mice also displayed reduced weight gain and fat mass. We conclude that voluntary wheel running for 30 min on 5 days each week reduced weight gain and fat mass in mice by preferentially decreasing high-fat food intake. This model of voluntary wheel running can be used to investigate mechanisms underlying the benefits of exercise on body weight and food intake, informing obesity intervention strategies for humans.