Title page for ETD etd-05162012-233514

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author van Eyk, Gregory Ryan
Author's Email Address grvaneyk@vt.edu
URN etd-05162012-233514
Title Dietary Fat and Sugar Induce Obesity and Impair Glucose Tolerance in Prepubertal Pigs
Degree Master of Science
Department Animal and Poultry Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Escobar, Jeffery Committee Chair
Gerrard, David E. Committee Member
Jiang, Honglin Committee Member
Scheffler, Jason M. Committee Member
  • glucose tolerance test
  • : whole body composition
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome
Date of Defense 2012-04-30
Availability unrestricted
Dietary Fat and Sugar Induce Obesity and Impair Glucose Tolerance in Prepubertal Pigs


A pig model of childhood obesity was used to study the effects of dietary energy on body adiposity, and blood parameters associated with impaired glucose clearance. Prepubertal female pigs weaned at 21 d of age were fed control (CON), refined sugar (SUG), fat (FAT), and sugar-fat (SUGFAT) diets in a completely randomized arrangement for 16 wk. Calories from fat were 8.9% for CON, 5.6% for SUG, 35.5% for FAT and 32.3% for SUGFAT. Calories from sugar were 36.0% for SUG and 30.7% for SUGFAT. Adding fat, sugar or both to diets increased (P < 0.003) calorie intake. Percentage body fat was higher (P < 0.0001) in all treatments compared to CON, and in SUGFAT and FAT compared to SUG. Ultrasound back fat depth was positively correlated (r2 = 0.909; P < 0.001) with percentage body fat and negatively (r = 0.912; P-value ) with percentage body protein. Area under the curve (AUC) in response to oral glucose tolerance at 14 wk was higher (P < 0.03) in FAT (+14.6%) and SUGFAT (+25.5%) pigs compared to CON. Glucose AUC from sugar-fed pigs was not different (P = 0.2) from fat alone-fed pigs. Adding sugar, fat, or their combination to diets increased (P < 0.008) blood glucose and decreased (P < 0.0009) plasma insulin AUC. These data show that inclusion of fat and refined sugar in pig diets increases body adiposity and impairs glucose homeostasis and suggests that the composition of calories consumed may have different effects than simply consumption of excess of calories.

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