Adiponectin plays a key role in the regulation of the whole-body energy homeostasis by modulating glucose and lipid metabolism. Although obesity-induced reduction of adiponectin expression is primarily ascribed to a transcriptional regulation failure, the underlying mechanisms are largely undefined. Here we show that DNA hypermethylation of a particular region of the adiponectin promoter suppresses adiponectin expression through epigenetic control and, in turn, exacerbates metabolic diseases in obesity. Obesity-induced, pro-inflammatory cytokines promote DNMT1 expression and its enzymatic activity. Activated DNMT1 selectively methylates and stimulates compact chromatin structure in the adiponectin promoter, impeding adiponectin expression. Suppressing DNMT1 activity with a DNMT inhibitor resulted in the amelioration of obesity-induced glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in an adiponectin-dependent manner. These findings suggest a critical role of adiponectin gene epigenetic control by DNMT1 in governing energy homeostasis, implying that modulating DNMT1 activity represents a new strategy for the treatment of obesity-related diseases.