ABSTRACT. Thirty middle-aged, moderately obese men with untreated mild hypertension were allocated to two groups of 15 men each. Both groups were placed on energy-reduced diets (5.1 MJ/day) for 9–11 weeks which resulted in similar losses of body mass (8.5 kg). In group I the low energy diet was supplemented with sodium chloride leading to no change in urinary sodium excretion. During dieting there were significant reductions of plasma renin activity (PRA) and urinary excretion of noradrenaline and aldosterone. Heart rate but not mean arterial pressure (MAP) decreased significantly. Then followed a period of sodium restriction which resulted in a significant decrease in MAP and an increase in aldosterone excretion. In group II there was a reduction of sodium intake by about 80 mmol as judged from determinations of urinary sodium excretion. In this group the energy restriction was not accompanied by any changes in PRA or urinary excretion of aldosterone, whereas urinary noradrenaline excretion, heart rate and MAP decreased significantly. Urinary adrenaline excretion remained unchanged. It is concluded that the hypotensive response to moderate energy and sodium reduction cannot be explained by changes in the renin-aldosterone system.