Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a complex disorder resulting from both genetic and environmental factors in its pathogenesis. A case − control study was designed with subjects recruited from a general population to investigate whether the association between T2D and the common T > A polymorphism (rs9939609) in fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene is mediated by obesity-related measurements, considering the contribution of socio-economic status and lifestyle factors. The significant association between the FTO rs9939609 polymorphism and T2D was first observed in the model unadjusted (OR per A allele = 1.61, 95% CI = 1.06–2.44, P = 0.024). It remained consistently replicated in the final model after adjustments for sex, age, systolic blood pressure, socio-economic status, lifestyle factors, and obesity-related measurements (body mass index, waist–hip ratio, body fat percentage, and body adiposity index), showing an increased T2D risk with an additive effect of the alleles (ORs per A allele = 1.80–1.92, 95% CI = 1.09–3.19, P < 0.05). The FTO-rs9939609 polymorphism, systolic blood pressure, and waist–hip ratio were the most significant independent predictors for T2D, in which the power of the adjusted prediction model was 0.769. In conclusion, the study suggested that the FTO-rs9939609 polymorphism was significantly associated with the increased risk of T2D, independent of obesity-related measurements in a Vietnamese population.