The present study was conducted to assess the relationship between obesity and serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), carotenoids, oxidized LDL (oxLDL), oxidized LDL antibodies (oLAB), and leptin in Japanese residents. The subjects were 158 males and 158 females aged 40-79 years, and living in Hokkaido, Japan, who attended a health examination screening. Serum levels of CRP, oxLDL, oLAB, and leptin were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and serum carotenoid levels were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Body mass index (BMI) was calculated as body weight (kg) divided by height (m) squared and obesity was defined as BMI of 25 or more (kg/m2). Serum levels of CRP and leptin were significantly higher in the obese group than in their non-obese counterparts in both genders. Serum levels of â-carotene and â-cryptoxanthin were lower in the obese individuals, especially in females. While values for oxLDL and oLAB did not significantly vary. BMI was positively correlated with logtransformed serum levels of CRP and leptin in both genders (males: r=0.231, p<0.05; females: r=0.305, p<0.001). In females, moreover, BMI was negatively correlated with log-transformed serum levels of â-carotene, zeaxanthin/ lutein, and â-cryptoxanthin (r=-0.244, p<0.01; r=-0.200, p<0.05; r=-0.207, p<0.01, respectively). Significantly higher odds ratios (ORs) for high serum levels of CRP (males: OR=2.12; females: OR=3.96) and leptin (males: OR=3.83; females: OR=9.07) were observed in obese versus non-obese men and women, after adjusting for various confounding factors. Significantly lower adjusted odds ratios for high serum levels of á- and â-carotenes (males: OR=0.23, 0.33; females: OR=0.35, 0.39, respectively) were also observed in the obese as compared to the non-obese group. In conclusion, obesity is highly associated with states of oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation in Japanese residents, suggesting that these latter might play an important role in the association between a high BMI and certain cancers as well as coronary heart disease (CHD).