Abstract The effect of dietary sorbose on food and water consumption was investigated in growing rats. Rats (26-day old) were fed diets containing 0, 100, 200 or 300 g sorbose/kg diet for 5 weeks in Experiment 1. Daily food and water intakes were measured at day 0, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35. Absolute food intake (g) until day 21 decreased linearly with increasing sorbose levels and so did relative food intake (g/100 g b.wt.) until day 7. In contrast, relative water intake (ml/100 g b.wt.) and water:food intake ratio (ml/g) remained high by day 7 with increasing sorbose levels. In Experiment 2, the effect of sorbose on the short-term food intake was compared with those of glucose, sucrose and maltitol in growing rats (25-day old) at a level of 100 g/kg diet in order to investigate how quickly reduced food intake would be induced by sorbose consumption. Cumulative food intake was determined every hour for the first ten hours, then at two-hour intervals thereafter during the 24-hour period that followed feeding. As rapid as 6 hours after feeding, cumulative food intake significantly decreased in sorbose-fed animals compared with other dietary groups. It was concluded that sorbose consumption decreased the food intake of growing rats from 6 hours to a few weeks after feeding, but this inhibitory effect disappeared afterwards.