Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding proteins (IGFBPs) moved on to contain both IGF high- and low-affinity binders, exerting mitogenic and metabolic actions through its complex interplay between IGF/insulin and its IGF/insulin-independent manner. Progress on the metabolic-related function of IGFBPs has been rapid in recent years. A wealth of studies in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and the transgenic mice models demonstrated that IGFBPs played important roles in the pathogenesis of obesity and insulin resistance. Studies conducted in humans demonstrated the close relation between IGFBPs and the components of the metabolic syndrome. Abnormal expression of IGFBP was detected in various states of the metabolic disorders, suggesting that it could be used as a convenient and sensitive marker of insulin resistance, identification of insulin-resistant individuals at high cardiovascular risk, and may be an earlier marker of the metabolic syndrome. These exciting findings bring us new insight into the elucidation of the metabolic syndrome, which may have important clinical implications.