Body weight excess has an increasingly high prevalence in the world. Obesity is a complex disease of multifactorial origin with a polygenic condition affected by environmental factors. Weight loss is a primary strategy to treat obesity and its morbidities. Weight changes through life depend on the interaction of environmental, behavioral and genetic factors. Interindividual variation of weight loss in response to different types of interventions (behavioral, caloric restriction, exercise, drug or surgery) has been observed. In this article, currently available data on the role of candidate gene polymorphisms in weight loss are reviewed. Even though control of weight loss by genotype was described in twin and family studies, it is premature to recommend use of genotyping in the design of therapeutic diets or drug treatment. Future studies will have to be large in order to assess the effects of multiple polymorphisms, and will have to control factors other than diet.