Sex Differences in Energy Balance and Weight Control

  • Kristin S. OndrakEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Endocrinology book series (COE)


Energy balance is a complex process influenced by many factors including sex, age, acute bouts of exercise and chronic training, genetic factors, as well as numerous hormones. This chapter describes sex-related differences in weight control considering the roles of leptin, insulin, ghrelin, catecholamines, cortisol, estrogen, and androgens. Their impact on appetite, metabolism, and body fat distribution is also described, and sex differences are discussed. Notable sex differences in energy balance include the amount and distribution of body fat as women generally have greater fat mass and store greater amounts of fat subcutaneously compared to men who store more fat viscerally. Women also have a more difficult time achieving negative caloric balance after exercise as the post-exercise appetite suppression is less than men. Hormonal factors supporting the conservation of mass for reproduction in females are also proposed in this chapter. Finally, sex differences in hormone levels and their impact on fuel metabolism during rest and exercise are discussed.


Leptin Ghrelin Resting metabolic rate Negative energy balance Orexigen Anorexigen Insulin Appetite 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Exercise & Sport ScienceUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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