Table of Contents
ISRN Obesity
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 437198, 12 pages
Review Article

Circadian Rhythms and Obesity in Mammals

Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, 76100 Rehovot, Israel

Received 16 October 2012; Accepted 11 November 2012

Academic Editors: M. Delibegovic and Z. Wang

Copyright © 2012 Oren Froy. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Obesity has become a serious public health problem and a major risk factor for the development of illnesses, such as insulin resistance and hypertension. Attempts to understand the causes of obesity and develop new therapeutic strategies have mostly focused on caloric intake and energy expenditure. Recent studies have shown that the circadian clock controls energy homeostasis by regulating the circadian expression and/or activity of enzymes, hormones, and transport systems involved in metabolism. Moreover, disruption of circadian rhythms leads to obesity and metabolic disorders. Therefore, it is plausible that resetting of the circadian clock can be used as a new approach to attenuate obesity. Feeding regimens, such as restricted feeding (RF), calorie restriction (CR), and intermittent fasting (IF), provide a time cue and reset the circadian clock and lead to better health. In contrast, high-fat (HF) diet leads to disrupted circadian expression of metabolic factors and obesity. This paper focuses on circadian rhythms and their link to obesity.