The objective of this study was to describe the association between meal pattern and obesity. The study is based on data from the INTERGENE research programme, and the study population consists of randomly selected women and men, aged 25-74, living in the Västra Götaland Region in Sweden. A total of 3610 were examined. Participants with measured BMI> or =30 were compared with others (BMI<30) with respect to questionnaire data on habitual meal patterns and intake of energy estimated from food frequencies and standard portions. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals were adjusted for age, sex, smoking and physical activity in logistic regression models. Being obese was significantly associated with omitting breakfast, OR 1.41 (1.05-1.90), omitting lunch OR 1.31 (1.04-1.66) and eating at night OR 1.62 (1.10-2.39). Obesity was also related to significantly larger self-reported portion sizes of main meals. No statistically significant relationship with intake of total energy was revealed. Thus, the results indicate that examination of meal patterns and portion sizes might tell us more about obesogenic food patterns than traditional nutrient analyses of food frequencies. Being obese was associated with a meal pattern shifted to later in the day and significantly larger self-reported portions of main meals.