Binge eating disorders are characterized by discrete episodes of rapid and excessive food consumption. In rats, giving intermittent access to sweet fat food mimics this aspect of binge eating. These models typically employ solid food; however, the total amount consumed depends on motivation, palatability and satiety, which are difficult to dissociate with solid food. In contrast, lick microstructure analysis can be used to dissociate these parameters when the ingestant is a liquid. Therefore, we developed a binge model using a liquid emulsion composed of corn oil, heavy cream and sugar. We show that rats given intermittent access to this high-fat emulsion develop binge-like behavior comparable to that previously observed with solid high-fat food. One feature of this behavior was a gradual escalation in consumption across 2.5. weeks of intermittent access, which was not apparent in rats given lower-fat liquid on the same access schedule. Lick microstructure analysis suggests that this escalation was due at least in part to increases in both motivation to consume and palatability-driven consumption.
- Binge eating disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Ingestive behavior
- Palatability-driven consumption
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience