A pathogenic relationship exists between type 2 diabetes and obesity. Over the last decade, the escalation in diabetes cases has paralleled the rapid increase in obesity rates, constituting a global health crisis. Environmental risk factors attributed to the global increase in obesity include the consumption of high-calorie, high-fat foods and inadequate physical activity. Obese individuals may also have a genetic predisposition for obesity. Both diabetes and obesity confer an elevated risk of developing a range of complications and comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, which can complicate disease management. This review examines the aetiology of the linkages between diabetes and obesity and the range of available therapies. Recent clinical evidence substantiating the efficacy and safety of incretin-based antidiabetic therapies is analysed, in addition to data on antiobesity therapeutic strategies, such as antiobesity agents, behaviour modification and bariatric surgery. Glucose control is often accompanied by weight-neutral or modest weight reduction effects with DPP-4 inhibitor treatment (sitagliptin, vildagliptin, saxagliptin) and weight loss with GLP-1 receptor agonist therapy (exenatide, liraglutide). Studies of antiobesity agents including orlistat, sibutramine and rimonabant have shown attrition rates of 30–40%, and the long-term effects of these agents remain unknown. Bariatric surgical procedures commonly performed are laparoscopic adjustable banding of the stomach and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and have produced type 2 diabetes remission rates of up to 73%. Therapeutic strategies that integrate glycaemic control and weight loss will assume greater importance as the prevalence of diabetes and obesity increase.