Obesity will continue to be one of the leading causes of chronic disease unless the ongoing rise in the prevalence of this condition is reversed. Accumulating morbidity figures and a shortage of effective drugs have generated substantial research activity with several molecular targets being investigated. However, pharmacological modulation of body weight is extremely complex, since it is essentially a battle against one of the strongest human instincts and highly efficient mechanisms of energy uptake and storage. This review provides an overview of the different molecular strategies intended to lower body weight or adipose tissue mass. Weight-loss drugs in development include molecules intended to reduce the absorption of lipids from the GI tract, various ways to limit food intake, and compounds that increase energy expenditure or reduce adipose tissue size. A number of new preparations, including combinations of the existing drugs topiramate plus phentermine, bupropion plus naltrexone, and the selective 5-HT(2C) agonist lorcaserin have recently been filed for approval. Behind these leading candidates are several other potentially promising compounds and combinations currently undergoing phase II and III testing. Some interesting targets further on the horizon are also discussed.