Overweight and obesity are the foremost public health problems in the U.S., other industrialized countries, and is rapidly increasing in developing countries. Obesity is a multifaceted disease which requires multiple approaches to successfully combat its increase. Nutritional factors play a key role and include modification of energy balance, intake and expenditure, as well as other factors. Emerging scientific evidence over the past decade suggests that dairy foods may be beneficial when included in a moderate energy restricted diet and possibly for weight maintenance as well. This paper provides a review of some of the scientific evidence that has examined the effect of dairy foods and dietary calcium on weight management. Topic areas presented are observational or retrospective studies with adults as well as children and adolescents; randomized clinical trials on body weight and composition, energy expenditure, substrate oxidation and fecal fat loss; research from animal and in vitro studies provide possible mechanisms of action.