The rapidly increasing prevalence of obesity and diabetes world-wide, particularly in children, has been rightly described as a health epidemic. In the ‘Laboratory of the Genetics of Obesity and Diabetes’ we use genetics as a tool to gain insight into novel pathways promoting obesity and diabetes. Genetic factors largely determine which individuals will develop obesity and/or diabetes in the context of a lifestyle of diets high in fat and carbohydrate and reduced exercise. However, the identities of most of these factors, and thus the underlying molecular alterations, are unknown. Years of analyses of the genes and pathways that have functions related to our understanding of the disease process have identified very few genetic factors that determine obesity or diabetes susceptibility in the general population.