Joule for joule, dietary fat may promote obesity more than protein or carbohydrate. In this study we determined whether the addition of 50 g dietary fat to a standard breakfast would increase energy expenditure or fat oxidation during the immediate 6-h postprandial period or over the ensuing 18 h. We also determined whether subjects with a high level of aerobic physical fitness would show a greater increase in fat oxidation after the ingestion of the extra fat than would less fit subjects. Adding fat did not increase fat oxidation or energy expenditure either during the immediate 6-h postprandial period or over the following 18 h. This was true regardless of the subject's fitness level. Acutely, dietary fat ingested in excess of its usual rate of oxidation appears to be stored in the body. Being physically fit does not appear to provide an advantage in avoiding short-term storage of excess dietary fat.