The metabolic syndrome is a common metabolic disorder that results from the increasing prevalence of obesity. The disorder is defined in various ways, but in the near future a new definition(s) will be applicable worldwide. The pathophysiology seems to be largely attributable to insulin resistance with excessive flux of fatty acids implicated. A proinflammatory state probably contributes to the syndrome. The increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease demands therapeutic attention for those at high risk. The fundamental approach is weight reduction and increased physical activity; however, drug treatment could be appropriate for diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk reduction.