How Fats & Carbs Drive Food Intake

Highly processed foods have been shown to lead to weight gain and are thought to drive intake through several mechanisms. Recent research suggests that the effect of combining fats and carbs on appetite might be more than the sum of their individual effects. Highly processed foods, accordingly, might simulate increased intake via the ratio of macronutrients.

Link to episode on neuroscience of appetite regulation:

Study Link:

Errata: Hu et al. was published in 2018.


DiFeliceantonio, A. G., Coppin, G., Rigoux, L., Thanarajah, S. E., Dagher, A., Tittgemeyer, M., & Small, D. M. (2018). Supra-additive effects of combining fat and carbohydrate on food reward. Cell metabolism, 28(1), 33-44.

Darcey, V. L., Guo, J., Courville, A., Gallagher, I., Avery, J. A., Simmons, W. K., … & Hall, K. D. (2022). Restriction of dietary fat, but not carbohydrate, alters brain reward circuitry in adults with obesity. bioRxiv, 2022-04.