Recently, a great deal of interest has been expressed regarding strategies to tackle worldwide obesity because of its accelerated wide spread accompanied with numerous negative effects on health and high costs. Obesity has been traditionally associated with an imbalance in energy consumed when compared to energy expenditure. However, growing evidence suggests a less simplistic event in which gut microbiota plays a key role. Obesity, in terms of microbiota, is a complicated disequilibrium that presents many unclear complications. Despite this, there is special interest in characterizing compositionally and functionally the obese gut microbiota with the help of in vitro, animal and human studies. Considering the gut microbiota as a factor contributing to human obesity represents a tool of great therapeutic potential. This paper reviews the use of antimicrobials, probiotics, fecal microbial therapy, prebiotics and diet to manipulate obesity through the human gut microbiota and reveals inconsistencies and implications for future study. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.