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We used complex segregation analysis to compare the genetic transmission of overweight in randomly selected black (N = 60) and white (TV = 961) families. In both groups we found evidence for polygenic transmission. Major gene inheritance was strongly supported in whites and was marginally supported in blacks. Parameter estimates for black and white families were similar, suggesting that overweight is similarly transmitted in the black and white families we observed. There was evidence in both black and white families for high gene frequency and recessive gene expression. Extreme phenotypes common in black families may be the result of interactions between major genotype and polygenic or environmental factors; alternative explanations for differences in black and white families’ transmission patterns are discussed. Replication with a larger group of black families is needed to confirm our findings.