Fatty-acid synthesis has been measured in vivo with3H2O in cafeteria-fed rats exhibiting diet-induced thermogenesis. Synthesis was decreased in brown adipose tissue, the liver, white adipose tissue, and the carcass of the cafeteria-fed animals compared to rats fed the normal stock diet. Whole-body synthesis was also decreased in the cafeteria-fed group. Diet-induced thermogenesis, in contrast to cold-induced non-shivering thermogenesis does not lead to increased fatty-acid synthesis and this is presumably due to the inhibitory effects on lipogenesis of the high dietary fat intake characteristic of cafeteria diets. The results also indicate that the energy cost of body fat deposition in cafeteria-fed rats is lower than in animals fed a low-fat/high-carbohydrate stock diet. © 1983 The Biochemical Society.