We investigated whether the Arg16Gly and Gln27Glu polymorphisms of the beta2-adrenergic receptor gene were associated with body-fat and fat-distribution phenotypes measured before and in response to a 20-week endurance-training program. BMI, fat mass (FAT), percentage of body fat (%FAT), sum of eight skinfolds (SF8), and abdominal fat areas assessed by computed tomography were measured in adult sedentary white and black participants of the HERITAGE Family Study. Evidence of gene-by-obesity interaction was found in whites for several adiposity phenotypes measured before training. Analyses performed separately in nonobese and obese subjects revealed that obese men carrying the Glu27 allele have lower fat accumulation (BMI, FAT, and %FAT) than noncarriers. Among white obese women, Gly16Gly homozygotes had a lower fat accumulation (BMI, FAT, and SF8) than Arg16Gly and Arg16Arg carriers. In response to endurance training, white women with the Arg16Arg genotype exhibited a greater reduction in BMI, FAT, and %FAT. Results observed in blacks were mostly negative. These results suggest that polymorphisms in the beta2-adrenergic receptor gene influence the amount of body fat in white obese men (Gln27Glu) and women (Arg16Gly), as well as the changes in adiposity in response to endurance training in white women (Arg16Gly).