Clark and colleagues first described the robust orexigenic effects of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in 1984. Our group as well as Stanley et al. confirmed these effects in the same year. During the next 20 years, we investigated the effects of NPY on diet preferences, opioid-related feeding, distributed neural feeding networks, energy metabolism, motivation and discriminative stimulus effects. These data together with data from other laboratories indicate that NPY increases feeding, even when rats work for food; that NPY decreases energy expenditure, particularly by altering thermogenesis; and that NPY's effects on energy metabolism are mediated by a widely distributed neural network involving other neuroregulators known to be involved in energy regulation.