Abstract Worldwide obesity has reached a pandemic proportion. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2020, two thirds of the global disease burden will be attributable to obesity and obesity associated complications. Existing anti-obesity drugs, affecting one of the fundamental processes of the weight regulation in human body, have displayed serious side effects which outweigh their beneficial effects. Clinical and non-clinical researchers in this area are now facing a challenge to search for non-pharmacological alternatives for the prevention of obesity. Dietary interventions and life style changes with enhanced physical activity are two such options. Considering the importance of dietary interventions, the present review highlights the role, significance and potential of functional food ingredients for the management of obesity and associated co-morbidities.