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Old 07-03-2009, 09:02 AM   #1
Mike ODonnell
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Default Cockroaches Get Fat on Protein only

found this to be interesting...although would like to know more about the data....sounds like a high protein diet only (low fat?).

Cockroaches may be tiny enough to slip through the smallest of cracks, but just like humans, these eternal pests can get fat on an unhealthy diet.

As part of a decade's worth of research on cockroaches, Patricia Moore of the University of Exeter studied how female cockroaches change their mating behavior in response to their diet, specifically what they eat when they are young.

"We already knew that what they eat as adults influences reproductive decisions," Moore said. But just how the food they consumed early in life shaped these decisions wasn't known.

To find out, Moore and her colleagues picked young female cockroach nymphs and divided them into two dietary groups. Half were fed a good-quality balanced diet of protein-rich fish food and high-carbohydrate oatmeal, while the rest were raised on fish food only.

Both groups were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. The difference in diets "was not quantity but variety," Moore said.

After the last molt, when the nymphs became adults, the team switched the diets of some animals. Half of the cockroaches raised with good quality diet lost their oatmeal, while half of the bugs fed poorly were promoted to a good-quality diet.

Eighteen days after the switch, the diet control ended and some of the surviving cockroaches were dissected. The rest were allowed to live on and reproduce.

The results: While the lifespan of the members of both groups was about the same, the cockroaches on the poor diet were fatter and took longer to mature.

Moore suggests that the poorly fed bugs were storing up excess fat at the expense of their growth in case their dietary options got even worse.

"This was a surprising result," Moore said, "but it shows the importance of a balanced diet for healthy development."

The effects of unbalanced meals continued throughout the cockroaches' lives, even for the few that were switched to good-quality food.

Females that ate a poor-quality diet were less willing to mate and less likely to produce offspring. They were also more picky and spent more time considering possible mates.

The findings, detailed in the June 24 issue of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found, that "poor diets [during early life] have an effect on the way cockroaches respond to their environment and cannot be reset later on," Moore said.
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:37 PM   #2
Chris Salvato
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Not quite sure what the point is of this?

Cockroach physiology would have minimal, if any, translation over to human physiology. They are in a totally different phylum.

The only thing that is of worth here is that a diet of one macronutrient is conducive to what these researchers are calling "poor health." I am not exactly falling out of my chair. Even the point on sexual maturation's link to diet has been proven over and over again in animals ranging from anthropoids to rats to humans.

The concept of early life diet causing differences in behavior in later life is something that is also being explored in humans with a pretty high degree of success.

I guess my point is that this isn't really new -- but i guess if you have never seen any of the similar studies before then this is interesting. However, this report is less compelling than the data that exists on humans and animals closer to our species.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:58 AM   #3
Grissim Connery
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Originally Posted by Mike ODonnell View Post
Females that ate a poor-quality diet were less willing to mate and less likely to produce offspring. They were also more picky and spent more time considering possible mates.
so that's why it's hard to pick up girls...
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