Obesity and its resulting metabolic disturbances are major health threats. In response to energy surplus, overtaxed adipocytes release fatty acids and pro-inflammatory factors into the circulation, promoting organ fat accumulation (including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease), insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. Recently, caspase-2 was linked to lipoapoptosis, so we hypothesized that caspase-2 might be a critical determinant of metabolic syndrome pathogenesis. Caspase-2-deficient and wild-type mice were fed a Western diet (high-fat diet, enriched with saturated fatty acids and 0.2% cholesterol, supplemented with fructose and glucose in the drinking water) for 16 weeks. Metabolic and hepatic outcomes were evaluated. In vitro studies assessed the role of caspase-2 in adipose tissue proliferative properties and susceptibility for lipoapoptosis. Caspase-2-deficient mice fed a Western diet were protected from abdominal fat deposition, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and hepatic steatosis. Adipose tissue in caspase-2-deficient mice was more proliferative, upregulated mitochondrial uncoupling proteins consistent with browning, and was resistant to cell hypertrophy and cell death. The liver was protected from steatohepatitis through a decrease in circulating fatty acids and more efficient hepatic fat metabolism, and from fibrosis as a consequence of reduced fibrogenic stimuli from fewer lipotoxic hepatocytes. Caspase-2 deficiency protected mice from diet-induced obesity, metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Further studies are necessary to assess caspase-2 as a therapeutic target for those conditions.