Our knowledge of the complex mechanisms underlying energy homeostasis has expanded enormously in recent years. Food intake and body weight are tightly regulated by the hypothalamus, brainstem and reward circuits, on the basis both of cognitive inputs and of diverse humoral and neuronal signals of nutritional status. Several gut hormones, including cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide-1, peptide YY, oxyntomodulin, amylin, pancreatic polypeptide and ghrelin, have been shown to play an important role in regulating short-term food intake. These hormones therefore represent potential targets in the development of novel anti-obesity drugs. This review focuses on the role of gut hormones in short- and long-term regulation of food intake, and on the current state of development of gut hormone-based obesity therapies.