Malnutrition is the result of an inadequate balance between energy intake and energy expenditure that ultimately leads to either obesity or undernutrition. Several factors are associated with the onset and preservation of malnutrition. One of these factors is the gut microbiota, which has been recognized as an important pathophysiologic factor in the development and sustainment of malnutrition. However, to our knowledge, the extent to which the microbiota influences malnutrition has yet to be elucidated. In this review, we summarize the mechanisms via which the gut microbiota may influence energy homeostasis in relation to malnutrition. In addition, we discuss potential therapeutic modalities to ameliorate obesity or undernutrition.