Creative Biolabs offers a wide range of metabolic disease models, including genetic, nutritional, chemically-induced, and the most comprehensive relevant services with professional expertise. Our experts are willing to tailor a detailed research plan based on our clients' specific demands and provide custom services to evaluate the efficiency of potential treatments.

Diet-Induced Obesity (DIO) Models

Genetic models of obesity, such as ob/ob mice and db/db mice, have proved to be useful to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of many associated pathologies. However, obesity models induced by feeding rodents with a hypercaloric diet are widely used by investigators for preclinical testing of therapeutic agents because they closely mimic human obesity owe to their polygenic background. Two common variations include the high-fat diet, which causes obesity due to its high energy density, and the cafeteria diet, which stimulates hyperphagia (and subsequent obesity) due to its palatability.

Cafeteria Diet-Induced Obesity

In this cafeteria diet-induced obesity model, the animal self-selects from highly palatable, readily available foods including cookies, candy, cheese, and processed meats, which contain a substantial amount of salt, sugar, and fat and can simulate the human Western diet.

Cafeteria Diet-Induced Obesity Model Fig.1 Feeding with CD had caused a signifcant increase in weight gain compared with the normal chow diet–fed rats, which was signifcantly decreased by the co-administration of MESM, in a dose-dependent manner. (Chidrawar et al. 2012)

Traditionally, high-fat diets are more frequently used in diet-induced obesity models. However, the cafeteria diet-induced models have several advantages when compared to the former. Firstly, this diet can more accurately simulate the variety of highly palatable, energy-dense nutrient-poor foods that are popular in modern society, which is probably the main cause of childhood obesity. Secondly, when standard chow and a varied, highly palatable diet are offered concurrently, animals present voluntary hyperphagia that results in rapid weight gain as well as increased fat pad mass and pre-diabetic parameters including glucose and insulin intolerance. Moreover, this diet engages hedonic feeding, in line with the observed voluntary hyperphagia, which produces long-lasting neuronal alterations predicted to underlie non-homeostatically regulated feeding behaviors associated with some forms of human obesity. In summary, CAF diet-induced obesity is a more robust model for human obesity in comparison with HFD.

However, disadvantages are that the nutritive and non-nutritive components of these foods are not well defined. What's more, the animal may choose a different selection of foods each day, making it difficult to accurately replicated for future studies.

Creative Biolabs provides various assessment options for testing the effectiveness of potential drugs depending on your study objectives, which including but not limited to:

  • Food Intake
  • Body Weight
  • Body Composition
  • Histology
  • Blood Pressure
  • Serum Biochemical Analysis
  • Insulin Tolerance Test

Additionally, Creative Biolabs also offers other types of rodent metabolic disease models that you may be interested in:

Besides the existing well-characterized rodent models, Creative Biolabs can also provide novel animal model validation for your innovative project. If you do not see the model you are interested in, please feel free to contact us for a detailed consultation.


  1. Chidrawar, V.R.; et al. Anti-obesity effect of Stellaria media methanolic extract in the murine model of cafeteria diet induced obesity[J]. International Journal of Nutrition,Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases. 2,2(2012-05-9), 2012, 2(2):: 576–584.

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