The adipocyte-derived hormones leptin [which circulates in a free form and bound to a soluble leptin receptor (sOB-R)], adiponectin, and resistin play a key role in regulating energy homeostasis and metabolism. We assessed the association between body composition, total energy, and macronutrient intake and serum leptin, sOB-R, free leptin index, adiponectin, and resistin concentrations in 61 female and 53 male consecutively enrolled healthy Greek students. In this cross-sectional study, total energy and macronutrient intake were determined using 3-d food records. Body composition was assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis; fasting blood samples were taken for the measurement of total leptin, sOB-R, adiponectin, and resistin; and the ratio leptin/sOB-R was used as an index of free leptin. Serum sOB-R concentrations were lower in the female subjects compared with the males (27.24 +/- 29.06 vs. 50.14 +/- 39.74 ng/ml, P < 0.001), whereas leptin, adiponectin, and resistin concentrations were significantly higher in females (leptin: 9.93 +/- 6.01 vs. 3.27 +/- 2.54 ng/ml, P < 0.001; adiponectin: 11.40 +/- 6.73 micro g/ml vs. 4.90 +/- 2.79 micro g/ml; P < 0.001; resistin: 16.86 +/- 5.39 ng/ml in females vs. 14.00 +/- 7.16 ng/ml in males, P < 0.02). Simple regression analysis showed that, in both genders, leptin, free leptin index, adiponectin, and resistin correlated positively with body fat mass and negatively with waist to hip ratio. sOB-R correlated negatively with body fat mass and positively with waist to hip ratio. Multiple regression analysis models controlling for gender, body fat, and total energy intake demonstrated that sOB-R is positively associated with energy intake from carbohydrates and negatively with energy intake from dietary fat, whereas free leptin index is negatively associated with energy intake from carbohydrates and positively with energy intake from dietary fat. No statistically significant correlations were observed between serum adiponectin or resistin concentrations and total energy or macronutrient intake. Thus, total energy intake and macronutrient composition of the diet are associated with sOB-R and free leptin index but do not play a role of comparable significance in predicting adiponectin and resistin concentrations in healthy young subjects.