Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified multiple novel loci associated with obesity in Europeans but results in other ethnicities are less convincing. Here, we report a two-stage GWAS of BMI in African Americans. The GWAS was performed using the Affymetrix 6.0 platform in 816 nondiabetic and 899 diabetic nephropathy subjects. 746,626 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were tested for association with BMI after adjustment for age, gender, disease status, and population structure. Sixty high scoring SNPs that showed nominal association in both GWAS cohorts were further replicated in 3,274 additional subjects in four replication cohorts and a meta-analysis was computed. Meta-analysis of 4,989 subjects revealed five SNPs (rs6794092, rs268972, rs2033195, rs815611, and rs6088887) at four loci showing consistent associations in both GWAS (P < 0.0001) and replication cohorts (P < 0.05) with combined P values range from 2.4 × 10(-6) to 5 × 10(-5). These loci are located near PP13439-TMEM212, CDH12, MFAP3-GALNT10, and FER1L4 and had effect sizes between 0.091 and 0.167 s.d. unit (or 0.67-1.24 kg/m(2)) of BMI for each copy of the effect allele. Our findings suggest the presence of novel loci potentially associated with adiposity in African Americans. Further replication and meta-analysis in African Americans and other populations will shed light on the role of these loci in different ethnic populations.