Flies fed a high-fat diet develop some of the phenotypes associated with obesity; observation of elevated triglycerides is frequently used as an indication of similarity to obesity. Decreased resistance to various sources of stress has been observed in flies fed a high-fat diet, including reduced cold tolerance; cardiomyopathy is also observed (see FBhh0000483). Genes that ameliorate or otherwise modify effects of a high-fat diet have been identified.
In the view of some researchers, the fly adult stage is more appropriate for models of diet-induced obesity than the larval stage. During larval stages, fat body function is primarily directed to organismal growth and lipid storage; in the adult, there is a shift in fat body function to energy homeostasis. The adult fat body is subject to diet-induced lipid overload, unlike the larval fat body, making the adult fly a better model for studies of diet-induced obesity (FBrf0200903).
Offspring (fed a normal diet) of mothers fed a high-fat diet exhibit a shortened lifespan, elevated molecular markers of ROS stress, and other metabolic dysfunctions.
[updated Jul. 2019 by FlyBase; FBrf0222196]