Dietary self-selection by pregnant and lactating rats

Alan I. Leshner, Harold I. Siegel, George Collier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Protein-carbohydrate choice was studied in female rats through the course of the estrus cycle and during pregnancy and lactation. Both selecting and control diet fed animals grew at the same rates. Food intake was reduced during the estrus phase, but there were no changes in the dietary selection pattern. During both pregnancy and lactation protein intake was increased while carbohydrate intake was maintained at a level equal to nonimpregnated controls. These data were interpreted as supporting other studies showing that dietary self-selection follows the varying nutritional requirements of the organism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-154
Number of pages4
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1972

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Diet
  • Estrus
  • Lactation
  • Pregnancy
  • Self-selection
  • Speicific hunger


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