Obesity is a major public health problem affecting 22% of adults in the United States. Despite public health efforts to combat obesity, it continues to increase in incidence along with obesity-related health costs. Obesity increases susceptibility for cardiovascular disease and non-insulin dependent diabetes, and has been associated with depression and anxiety. Chronic stress plays a role in the development of obesity, and has also been linked with depression and anxiety disorders. Moreover, obese individuals often have disruptions in the activity of the stress-responsive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Thus, the literature supports strong links between stress, stress-related illnesses and the dysregulation of body weight. To determine the nature of the interactions between chronic stress and obesity, this proposal will use a rat model of high fat diet-induced obesity (DIO) combined with chronic variable stress (CVS) exposure to address three principal hypotheses: (1) chronic stress potentiates obesity in rats consuming high fat diet; (2) chronic stress responses are potentiated by short term consumption of high fat diet; and (3) chronic stress responses are attenuated by obesity induced by long term consumption of high fat diet.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F02A (20))
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Podskalny, Judith M,
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University of Cincinnati
Schools of Medicine
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