We have developed an in vitro muscle preparation suitable for metabolic studies with human muscle tissue and have investigated the effects of obesity and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) on glucose transport. Transport of 3-O-methylglucose and 2-deoxyglucose was stimulated approximately twofold by insulin in muscle from normal nonobese subjects and stimulation occurred in the normal physiological range of insulin concentrations. In contrast to insulin stimulation of 3-O-methylglucose and 2-deoxyglucose transport in muscle from normal, nonobese subjects, tissue from morbidly obese subjects, with or without NIDDM, were not responsive to insulin. Maximal 3-O-methylglucose transport was lower in muscle of obese than nonobese subjects. Morbidly obese patients, with or without NIDDM, have a severe state of insulin resistance in glucose transport. The novel in vitro human skeletal muscle preparation herein described should be useful in investigating the mechanism of this insulin resistance.