Classification of different degrees of adiposity in sedentary rats
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In experimental studies, several parameters, such as body weight, body mass index, adiposity index, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, have commonly been used to demonstrate increased adiposity and investigate the mechanisms underlying obesity and sedentary lifestyles. However, these investigations have not classified the degree of adiposity nor defined adiposity categories for rats, such as normal, overweight, and obese. The aim of the study was to characterize the degree of adiposity in rats fed a high-fat diet using cluster analysis and to create adiposity intervals in an experimental model of obesity. Thirty-day-old male Wistar rats were fed a normal (n=41) or a high-fat (n=43) diet for 15 weeks. Obesity was defined based on the adiposity index; and the degree of adiposity was evaluated using cluster analysis. Cluster analysis allowed the rats to be classified into two groups (overweight and obese). The obese group displayed significantly higher total body fat and a higher adiposity index compared with those of the overweight group. No differences in systolic blood pressure or nonesterified fatty acid, glucose, total cholesterol, or triglyceride levels were observed between the obese and overweight groups. The adiposity index of the obese group was positively correlated with final body weight, total body fat, and leptin levels. Despite the classification of sedentary rats into overweight and obese groups, it was not possible to identify differences in the comorbidities between the two groups.