Obesity and type 2 diabetes are pathologies with rapidly growing prevalence throughout the world. A few molecular targets offer the most hope for anti-obesity and anti-diabetic therapeutics. One of the keys to success will be the induction of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in abdominal white adipose tissue (WAT) and the regulation of cytokine secretions from both abdominal adipose cells and macrophage cells infiltrated into adipose tissue. Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects of fucoxanthin, a characteristic carotenoid found in brown seaweeds, have been reported. Nutrigenomic studies reveal that fucoxanthin induces UCP1 in abdominal WAT mitochondria, leading to the oxidation of fatty acids and heat production in WAT. Fucoxanthin improves insulin resistance and decreases blood glucose levels through the regulation of cytokine secretions from WAT. The key structure of carotenoids for the expression of anti-obesity effect is suggested to be the carotenoid end of the polyene chromophore, which contains an allenic bond and two hydroxyl groups.