Circulating levels of the cytokine interleukin 18 (IL-18) are elevated in obesity. Here, we show that administration of IL-18 suppresses appetite, feed efficiency, and weight regain in food-deprived male and female C57BL/6J mice. Intraperitoneal vs. intracerebroventricular routes of IL-18 administration had similar potency and did not promote formation of a conditioned taste aversion (malaise-like behavior). Mice partially (Il18(+/-)) or totally (Il18(-/-)) deficient in IL-18 were hyperphagic by young adulthood, with null mutants then becoming overweight by the fifth month of life. Adult Il18(-/-) mice gained 2- to 3-fold more weight than WT mice per unit energy consumed of low- or high-fat diet. Indirect calorimetry revealed reduced energy expenditure in female Il18(-/-) mice and increased respiratory exchange ratios [volume of carbon dioxide production (VCO(2))/volume of oxygen consumption (VO(2))] in mutants of both sexes. Hyperphagia continued in maturity, with overeating greatest during the mid- to late-dark cycle. Relative white fat-pad mass of Il18(-/-) mice was approximately 2- to 3-fold greater than that of WT, with gonadal, mesenteric, and inguinal depots growing most. The data suggest that endogenous IL-18 signaling modulates food intake, metabolism, and adiposity during adulthood and might be a central or peripheral pharmacological target for controlling energy homeostasis.