Interest in the quality of life of patients with different diseases continues to grow. Recent years have witnessed a dramatic rise in the prevalence of obesity worldwide, stimulating interest in the health and quality of life consequences of this phenomenon. The body of research on the quality of life of obese individuals has grown to a point that a review of this literature is warranted. Numerous studies have demonstrated that obese persons experience significant impairments in quality of life as a result of their obesity, with greater impairments associated with greater degrees of obesity. Weight loss has been shown to improve quality of life in obese persons undergoing a variety of treatments. Further research is needed to clarify whether quality of life differs among subsets of obese persons. Until recently, there has been little standardization of quality of life measures in obesity. The SF-36 has been used in a number of studies of obese persons. Several obesity-specific instruments have also been developed and have shown great promise. The quality of life of obese individuals is an important issue that should be included in weight management treatment and research.