The consumption of, and preference for, a rewarding 0.9% sucrose solution was examined in rats subjected chronically (8 wk) to a regimen of unpredictable mild stressors. Intake of sucrose was reduced in stressed animals compared to controls after 3 wk. However, correction for body weight changes revealed no significant difference in sucrose consumption between the groups. A comparison of the mean sucrose intakes of matched low-weight rats, with low weight a function of either immaturity or stress, failed to differentiate between the groups. Total sucrose consumption and total fluid intake correlated significantly with body weight of stressed animals and controls. Percentage preference for sucrose solution did not differ between controls and stressed animals. It is concluded that the validity and reliablity of sucrose consumption as an hedonic measure within the context of exposure to chronic unpredictable mild stress must be questioned.
Matthews, K., Forbes, N., & Reid, I. C. (1995). Sucrose consumption as an hedonic measure following chronic unpredictable mild stress. Physiology & Behavior, 57(2), 241-248. https://doi.org/10.1016/0031-9384(94)00286-E