As one of the widely used anthropogenic food additives, 3-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole (3-BHA) has been found to perturb adipogenesis in vitro and induce lipid accumulation in some strains of oleaginous microalgae. The impact of this chemical on adipocyte development and lipid metabolism in mammals remains to be elucidated. In this study, we performed 18-week oral administration of 3-BHA to male C57BL/6J mice with normal diet (ND) or high-fat diet (HFD) and investigated its impacts on adipogenesis and lipid accumulation in vivo. The results indicated that long-term exposure to 3-BHA impacted the mouse body weight gain, white adipose tissue accumulation, and plasma lipids through transcriptional regulation of adipogenesis, lipid metabolism, and adipocyte endocrine function, while glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity remained unaffected. HFD-fed mice responded to 3-BHA stimulation differently from ND-fed animals, suggesting potential risks for the human burden of 3-BHA in lean and obese subjects. The findings herein validate 3-BHA as an environmental obesogen, and more caution is recommended for its authorized use as a food antioxidant against lipid rancidity.