Under the assumption of local atomic scattering, elastic electron scattering at finite scattering angles implies a small but finite energy loss. This energy loss, which under conventional imaging conditions in high-resolution transmission electron microscopy is of the order of 0.1 meV and thus negligible, increases by more than 2 orders of magnitude if light elements are investigated at sub-Ångström resolution. For a microscope of finite chromatic aberration, the energy loss leads to an element-specific chromatic effect which increases with the instrument resolution and with decreasing mass of the scattering atom. Despite that this effect is small, it can degrade the achievable image contrast. However, the effect can be considered in the optimization of the phase-contrast imaging conditions and even be beneficial to enhance the relative image contrast of light atoms in the presence of heavy atoms.