It is not well recognized that in the elderly weight loss is more common than weight gain. The aim of this analysis was to determine the effect of ageing on appetite (hunger/fullness) and energy intake, after overnight fasting and in a postprandial state, by meta-analyses of trials that included at least two age groups (>18 years). We hypothesized that appetite and energy intake would be less in healthy older compared with younger adults. Following a PubMed-database systematic search up to 30 June 2015, 59 studies were included in the random-effects-model meta-analyses. Energy intake was 16%-20% lower in older (n = 3574/~70 years/~71 kg/~25 kg/m2) than younger (n = 4111/~26 years/~69 kg/~23 kg/m2) adults (standardized mean difference: -0.77 (95% confidence interval —0.90 to —0.64)). Hunger was 25% (after overnight fasting; weighted mean difference (WMD): —17 (—22 to —13) mm) to 39% (in a postprandial state; WMD: —14 (—19 to —9) mm) lower, and fullness 37% (after overnight fasting; WMD: 6 mm (95% CI: 1 to 11 mm)) greater in older than younger adults. In conclusion, appetite and energy intake are less in healthy older than younger adults, suggesting that ageing per se affects food intake.