Obesity is a resilient and complex chronic disease. One potential causative factor in the obesity syndrome is leptin resistance. Leptin behaves as a potent anorexic and energy-enhancing hormone in most young or lean animals, but its effects are diminished or lacking in the obese state associated with a normal genetic background. Emerging evidence suggests that leptin resistance predisposes the animal to exacerbated diet-induced obesity (DIO). Elevation of central leptin in young, lean rats induces a leptin resistance that precludes obesity on a chow diet but accelerates high-fat (HF)-induced obesity. Similarly, chronic dietary fructose consumption evokes a leptin resistance that causes obesity only upon HF exposure. Inherent central leptin insensitivity also contributes to dietary weight gain in certain obesity-prone rats. Conversely, aged, leptin-resistant animals are obese with continuous chow feeding and demonstrate aggravated obesity when challenged with an HF diet. Additionally, a submaximal central blockade with a leptin antagonist leads to obesity on both chow and HF diets, as is the case in rodents with leptin receptor deficiency of genetic origin. Despite the differences in the incidence of obesity on a chow diet, all of these forms of leptin resistance predispose rodents to aggravated HF-mediated obesity. Moreover, once leptin resistance takes hold, it aggravates DIO, and the leptin resistance and obesity compound one another, promoting a vicious cycle of escalating weight gain.