Energy homeostasis, a fundamental property of all organisms, depends on the ability to control the storage and mobilization of fat, mainly triacylglycerols (TAG), in special organs such as mammalian adipose tissue or the fat body of flies. Malregulation of energy homeostasis underlies the pathogenesis of obesity in mammals including human. We performed a screen to identify nutritionally regulated genes that control energy storage in the model organism Drosophila. The brummer (bmm) gene encodes the lipid storage droplet-associated TAG lipase Brummer, a homolog of human adipocyte triglyceride lipase (ATGL). Food deprivation or chronic bmm overexpression depletes organismal fat stores in vivo, whereas loss of bmm activity causes obesity in flies. Our study identifies a key factor of insect energy homeostasis control. Their evolutionary conservation suggests Brummer/ATGL family members to be implicated in human obesity and establishes a basis for modeling mechanistic and therapeutic aspects of this disease in the fly.