Thermic effect of feeding carbohydrate, fat, protein and mixed meal in lean and obese subjects

Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Aug;42(2):177-81. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/42.2.177.


The thermic effect of 1.67 MJ (400 kcal) of carbohydrate (glucose), fat, protein and mixed meal were examined in 11 lean and 11 obese subjects by indirect calorimetry. The changes in metabolic rate in response over 90 min period (30-120 min after the meal) to the different meals were compared with that seen after a similar volume of low calorie drink. The thermic effects of glucose and protein were not significantly different between lean and obese subjects. Obese subjects showed very little increase in metabolic rate following ingestion of fat (-0.9 +/- 2.0%, mean +/- SEM) and this was significantly different from that seen in lean subjects (14.4 +/- 3.4%). The thermogenic response to mixed meal was also significantly lower in obese subjects when expressed as percentage change (12.9 +/- 2.3% compared to 25.0 +/- 4.8%). There was no evidence for delay in gastric emptying times for glucose and fatty meal in the six obese subjects in whom these were measured. We conclude that obese subjects show a reduced thermogenic response to fat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basal Metabolism
  • Body Temperature Regulation / drug effects*
  • Body Weight
  • Calorimetry
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Glucose / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Glucose