Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing

Project Advisor 1

Michael Tibbetts

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Obesity presents a threat to human health and lifestyle, affecting more than 60% of the adult population in economically-developed nations. It is most closely associated with the accumulation of excess fat; however, other signs of the condition include deregulation of blood pressure, blood glucose, and insulin sensitivity. Together, these risks can develop into other metabolic diseases such as coronary heart disease and type II diabetes. Obesity leads to a decline in physical activity as well, which promotes additional fat buildup and ultimately prevents the ability of individuals to eventually get healthy. This study investigates the effect of adult zebrafish diet on the fat distribution and feeding patterns of offspring. Qualitative analysis of fat accumulation was conducted by fluorescing fat deposits in the head and trunk of zebrafish offspring 24 hours and 48 hours after starvation. Data show a possible increase in the amount of fat over time. Additionally, appetite regulation was investigated by quantifying fluorescently-labelled paramecia in the abdomen of zebrafish larvae. Offspring sired by males and females that consumed a high fat diet were compared to offspring sired by males and females that consumed a control diet. These data may describe a trend of appetite reduction in offspring sired by adult zebrafish who consumed a high fat diet. A better understanding of these trends could highlight parental diet, lifestyle, and behavior as important influences in the manifestation of obesity in human children.

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