Resting metabolic rate is associated with hunger, self-determined meal size, and daily energy intake and may represent a marker for appetite

Caudwell, Phillipa, Finlayson, Graham, Gibbons, Catherine, Hopkins, Mark, King, Neil A., Naslund, Erik, & Blundell, John E. (2012) Resting metabolic rate is associated with hunger, self-determined meal size, and daily energy intake and may represent a marker for appetite. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 97(1), pp. 7-14.

View at publisher (open access)


Background: There are strong logical reasons why energy expended in metabolism should influence the energy acquired in food-intake behavior. However, the relation has never been established, and it is not known why certain people experience hunger in the presence of large amounts of body energy.

Objective: We investigated the effect of the resting metabolic rate (RMR) on objective measures of whole-day food intake and hunger.

Design: We carried out a 12-wk intervention that involved 41 overweight and obese men and women [mean ± SD age: 43.1 ± 7.5 y; BMI (in kg/m2): 30.7 ± 3.9] who were tested under conditions of physical activity (sedentary or active) and dietary energy density (17 or 10 kJ/g). RMR, daily energy intake, meal size, and hunger were assessed within the same day and across each condition.

Results: We obtained evidence that RMR is correlated with meal size and daily energy intake in overweight and obese individuals. Participants with high RMRs showed increased levels of hunger across the day (P < 0.0001) and greater food intake (P < 0.00001) than did individuals with lower RMRs. These effects were independent of sex and food energy density. The change in RMR was also related to energy intake (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: We propose that RMR (largely determined by fat-free mass) may be a marker of energy intake and could represent a physiologic signal for hunger. These results may have implications for additional research possibilities in appetite, energy homeostasis, and obesity. This trial was registered under international standard identification for controlled trials as ISRCTN47291569.

Impact and interest:

33 citations in Scopus
31 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 57929
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Full-text free to read on journal website
ISSN: 1938-3207
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 American Society for Nutrition
Deposited On: 07 Mar 2013 05:33
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2017 07:18

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page