This study was conducted to examine long-term effects of amount and type of dietary fat on body weight and body composition. Adult male Wistar rats were fed high fat (HF; 60% of calories) or low fat (LF: 20% of calories) diets for 28 weeks. Half of the rats in each condition received diets with saturated fat (lard) (S) and the remainder received diets with polyunsaturated fat (corn oil) (U). From 28-39 weeks, HF rats were switched to LF diets (fat type remained constant). From 40-50 weeks, previously HF fed rats were weight-matched to rats in the LF fed groups. HF rats became fatter than LF rats during weeks 1-28 and remained heavier and fatter from weeks 28-39. During weeks 1-28, type of dietary fat had no effect on total body fat in either HF or LF rats, but during period 2 (weeks 28-39), U rats were heavier and fatter than S rats. There was some indication that U diets were associated with greater accumulation of fat in subcutaneous adipose tissue depots than S diets. From 40-50 weeks, rats previously fed the HF diet required less food to maintain their body weight than did LF diet rats. In summary, these results suggest that although both amount and type of dietary fat can affect body weight and body composition, the effects of the type of fat are less than those of amount of dietary fat.