Does basal metabolic rate drive eating rate?

Physiol Behav. 2018 May 15:189:74-77. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.03.013. Epub 2018 Mar 13.


There have been recent advances in our understanding of the drivers of energy intake (EI). However, the biological drivers of differences in eating rate (ER) remain less clear. Studies have reported that the fat-free mass (FFM) and basal metabolic rate (BMR) are both major components that contribute to daily energy expenditure (EE) and drive EI. More recently, a number of observations report that higher ER can lead to greater EI. The current study proposed that adults with a higher BMR and higher energy requirements would also exhibit higher ERs. Data on BMR, FFM, and ER were collected from 272 Chinese adults (91 males and 181 females) in a cross-sectional study. Analysis showed significant positive associations between BMR and ER (rs = 0.405, p < 0.001), and between FFM and ER (rs = 0.459, p < 0.001). BMR explained about 15% of the variation in ER which was taken to be metabolically significant. This association provides metabolic explanation that the differences in an individual's BMR (hence energy requirements) may be correlated with ERs. This merits further research.

Keywords: Basal metabolic rate; Eating rate; Energy intake; Energy requirement; Fat free mass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basal Metabolism*
  • Body Composition*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eating*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male