1. Male and female mice, 4 weeks old, were fed ad lib. diets containing various amounts of lard (0-300 g/kg) or various kinds of dietary fats (300 g/kg) for 13 weeks. Fat cell number and size were determined by a histological method in three different adipose sites. 2. Lard at 200 g/kg diet (43% energy from lipids) was sufficient to promote fat cell hyperplasia in the parametrial fat. Hyperplasia was also observed in the subcutaneous fat in males. The relationship between fat cell hypertrophy and the level of lard in the diet was dependent on site and sex. 3. Obesity was produced whatever the kind of dietary fat eaten: lard, beef tallow, sunflower oil or soya-bean oil. In the subcutaneous depot of males given lard, fat cell size and number were increased, but only cell hypertrophy was observed in those given soya-bean oil. In the female groups of mice fat cell hyperplasia or hypertrophy or both were related to the adipose site but not the kind of dietary fat. 4. It is concluded that dietary fats of different origin can induce obesity in mice. The effects on adipose tissue cellularity depend on the levels and kind of fat eaten, the adipose site and sex.