Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma) has been hypothesized as being involved in colorectal cancer given its role in adipocyte development and insulin resistance. In this study we evaluated the association between the Pro12Ala (P12A) PPARgamma polymorphism and body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), physical activity level, and energy intake and risk of colorectal cancer using data from a population-based, case-control study of colon cancer (1,577 cases and 1,971 controls) and rectal cancer (794 cases and 1,001 controls). We further evaluated how the P12A PPARgamma polymorphism is associated with obesity and fat pattern in the control population. The odd ratio for PPARgamma PA or AA genotype relative to the PP genotype for colon cancer was 0.9 (95% confidence interval, CI=0.8-1.0) and for rectal cancer was 1.2 (95% CI=1.0-1.5) adjusting for race, age, and sex. P12A PPARgamma did not significantly interact with BMI, WHR, energy intake, and energy expenditure to alter risk of colon or rectal cancer. Furthermore, the P12A PPARgamma polymorphism was not associated with obesity or WHR in the control population; it did not interact with energy intake or energy expenditure to alter risk of obesity or large WHR. These data do not support the hypothesis that the P12A PPARgamma polymorphism is associated with colon or rectal cancer through regulation of energy balance.