Prader-Labhart-Willi syndrome (PWS) is the most frequent form of syndromal obesity. Its main features are associated with hypothalamic dysfunction, which has not yet been comprehensively described. The aim of this review is to present arguments to define the presence of genuine growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) in these patients. Decreasing growth velocity despite the onset of obesity, reduced lean body mass in the presence of adiposity, small hands and feet, relatively low insulin-like growth factor-I and low insulin levels, as well as the dramatic effect of GH treatment on growth, support the presence of hypothalamic GHD in PWS. Even though it might be difficult to ultimately prove GHD in PWS because of the obesity-induced counterregulation, the hormonal situation differs from that in simple obesity. The effects of long-term therapies with GH on body composition in these patients are summarized. GH therapy dramatically changes the phenotype of PWS in childhood: height and weight become normal and there is a sustained impact on the net loss of body fat. We conclude that GHD may account for several features of PWS.