Diet-induced changes in sympathetic nervous system activity: Possible implications for obesity and hypertension

James B. Young*, Lewis Landsberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Scopus citations


The sympathetic nervous system responds to changes in caloric intake; caloric restriction decreases and carbohydrate administration increases sympathetic nervous system activity in animals and man. Insulin may be a major link between changes in dietary intake and changes in central sympathetic outflow. Caloric restriction reduces, and carbohydrate administration increases blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats, changes consistent with a primary effect of caloric intake on sympathetic nervous system activity. Stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system by overfeeding may contribute to the development and maintenance of hypertension in biologically-predisposed animals and man. The association of obesity and hypertension may reflect chronic overfeeding, although diet-induced changes in sympathetic nervous system activity may affect blood pressure in non-obese individuals as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-886
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chronic Diseases
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1982


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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