Myths about Insulin Resistance: Tribute to Gerald Reaven

Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2019 Mar;34(1):47-52. doi: 10.3803/EnM.2019.34.1.47.


Gerald Reaven was often called the "father of insulin resistance." On the 1-year anniversary of his death in 2018, we challenge three myths associated with insulin resistance: metformin improves insulin resistance; measurement of waist circumference predicts insulin resistance better than body mass index; and insulin resistance causes weight gain. In this review, we highlight Reaven's relevant research that helped to dispel these myths associated with insulin resistance.

Keywords: Insulin resistance; Metformin; Waist circumference; Weight gain.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Lipolysis / drug effects
  • Metformin / pharmacology*
  • Metformin / therapeutic use
  • Mythology
  • Waist Circumference / physiology*
  • Weight Gain / physiology


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Metformin

Personal name as subject

  • Gerald Reaven