The recent dramatic rise in obesity rates is an alarming global health trend that consumes an ever increasing portion of health care budgets in Western countries. The root cause of obesity is thought to be a prolonged positive energy balance. Hence, the major focus of preventative programs for obesity has been to target overeating and inadequate physical exercise. Recent research implicates environmental risk factors, including nutrient quality, stress, fetal environment and pharmaceutical or chemical exposure as relevant contributing influences. Evidence points to endocrine disrupting chemicals that interfere with the body's adipose tissue biology, endocrine hormone systems or central hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis as suspects in derailing the homeostatic mechanisms important to weight control. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of the molecular targets and mechanisms of action for these compounds and areas of future research needed to evaluate the significance of their contribution to obesity.