Reynés B., García-Ruiz E., Díaz-Rúa R., Palou A., Oliver P.

Food Res Int. 2014;64:839-848.

Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Nutrition and Biotechnology, Universitat de les Illes Balears and CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn), Palma de Mallorca, Spain.


The increased intake of fat-rich foods is one of the causes of the increasing incidence of obesity. However, there are controversial data on the reversibility of diet-induced obesity and its metabolic complications when adopting a control energy-balanced diet. Our aim was to evaluate the ability to reset not only body weight but also metabolic disorders caused by a highly palatable high fat diet, cafeteria diet, administered to adult rats, when replaced by a control diet (post-cafeteria model). Four-months of cafeteria diet-feeding produced important metabolic alterations in comparison to a commercial purified high fat diet: a rapid, drastic increase in body weight, adiposity and related complications such as insulin resistance, decreased glucose tolerance and development of hepatic steatosis. At gene level, decreased lipogenic and increased lipolytic gene expression in key energy homeostatic tissues as a physiological adaptation to increased fat intake was observed. In addition, fasting response of serum parameters and of key genes in lipid metabolism was impaired in cafeteria-fed animals. Contrary to what we have previously described if cafeteria diet is administered early in life, when administered to adult animals, its replacement with a balanced diet is able to restore body weight. Cafeteria diet withdrawal also allows recovery from metabolic damage, gene expression regulation and fasting response, the degree of which is dependent on the time of exposure to the cafeteria diet. In conclusion, adherence to an ad libitum intake of a balanced standard diet can enable the recovery of healthy status in animals which were previously exposed to an unhealthy cafeteria diet in adult age.


Event date: 22/08/2014

Publication date: 25/05/2015