Energy expenditure and physical activity in subjects consuming full-or reduced-fat products as part of their normal diet

Br J Nutr. 1996 Dec;76(6):785-95. doi: 10.1079/bjn19960086.


It has been suggested that energy expenditure is higher in subjects consuming reduced-fat, high-carbohydrate diets than in subjects consuming full-fat, low-carbohydrate diets. In a 6-month randomized, controlled trial, seventeen women and twenty men (age 20-35 years; BMI 22-28 kg/m2) had free access either to a range of about forty-five reduced-fat products or the full-fat equivalents. At the end of the 6 months, energy intake, sleeping metabolic rate (SMR), average daily metabolic rate (ADMR), and physical activity (AO) were measured. The intervention resulted in a mean difference of the change of the fat content of the diet of 6% of energy (P < 0.01) between the two groups. SMR. ADMR and AO were virtually the same in both groups. The results suggest that the change in fat content of the diet has no effect on physical activity and energy expenditure. However, subjects with a higher activity level consumed more carbohydrate (ADMR/SMR: r = 0.49, P < 0.01: AO: r = 0.57, P < 0.001).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats