The prevalence of obesity and related disease risk is high in black South African (SA) women, possibly influenced by the dietary transition associated with urbanization. This study explored interactions between dietary fat intake and the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFA) -308 G/A polymorphism on obesity, insulin resistance, and serum lipid concentrations in urbanized black SA women. Normal-weight (n = 105) and obese (n = 118) women underwent measurements of body composition, fat distribution, fasting serum lipids, glucose and insulin concentrations, and dietary intake. Participants were genotyped for the functional TNFA -308 G/A polymorphism. The genotype or allele frequency of the TNFA -308 G/A polymorphism did not differ between the BMI groups. However, when dietary fat intake was 30% of total energy intake [percentage energy (%E)], the odds of being obese with the TNFA GA+AA genotype was only 12% of that with GG, but increasing intake of dietary fat (%E) was associated with a significantly faster rate of increase in obesity risk in women with the TNFA GA+AA genotype compared with those with the GG genotype (P = 0.036). There were significant diet-gene interactions between alpha-linolenic acid (%E) and the total cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol ratio (P = 0.036), and PUFA (%E) and LDL cholesterol levels (P = 0.026), with participants with the A allele being more responsive to changes in relative fat intake. The TNFA -308 G/A polymorphism modified the relationship between dietary fat intake, obesity risk, and serum lipid concentrations in black SA women.