Degree Date



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Activity-based anorexia (ABA) occurs when there is limited access to food and an opportunity to engage in high levels of physical activity. While the ABA effect is well established, the distinct functions of exercise and food restriction in maintaining ABA have not been determined. The current study examined the effect of pre-exposure to a restricted feeding schedule and pre-exposure to a running wheel on the incidence of ABA in 36 rats. Access to food and the running wheel was also varied in the recovery phase of the study in order to establish the effect of these variables on recovery from ABA. Three adaptation conditions (pre-exposed to food restriction, pre-exposed to wheel access and non-exposed) and two recovery conditions (wheel access and food restriction recovery) defined the six groups in the current study. Significant differences in the incidence of ABA between the adaptation conditions, and different patterns of recovery from ABA between the two recovery conditions, as well as evidence of an interaction between adaptation and recovery were revealed. The results of the current study aid in understanding the distinct functions of food restriction and exercise in maintaining and recovering from ABA and have possible implications for the treatment of people diagnosed with some types of anorexia nervosa.


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