Obesity is a multifactorial disorder, caused mainly due to lifestyle changes, and increased consumption of calorie dense diets is not just limited to developed countries anymore. Chronic physiological stress and oxidative stress are known to be implicated in the etiology of obesity. However, the role of stress response towards obesity manifestation in genetically different rat strains is poorly understood. In the current study we have used obesity susceptible & resistant rat models to understand the role of both glucocorticoid and oxidativestress in the pathophysiology of obesity. Upon challenge with calorie dense diets, WNIN showed an increased glucocorticoid stress, resulting in increased oxidative stress; whereas such a phenomenon was not noticed in F-344 and SD. However, there was an increase in the circulatory melatonin levels in calorie dense fed groups of both F-344 and SD animals, which might have contributed to reduced oxidative stress. The molecular switch in the activation of melatonin could be possibly attributed to the genetic differences among these strains. It will be interesting to explore other molecular mechanisms for melatonin regulation, albeit increased corticosterone is implicated in the enhanced production of melatonin. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.