The effect of a palatable granulated guar-gum preparation (10 g twice daily) was studied in obese subjects. The acute effect of a single dose of guar gum to reduce the peak postprandial whole blood glucose levels (about 10%) was verified. Following long-term treatment, a further reduction was seen in the obese subjects with the highest postprandial glucose levels. Since the postprandial plasma insulin levels were essentially unchanged, this finding suggested an increased responsiveness to insulin. Total serum cholesterol levels were significantly reduced following long-term treatment but serum alpha-cholesterol levels, representing the high-density-lipoprotein fraction, was unchanged. Body-weight was significantly reduced during guar-gum treatment even though the patients were asked to maintain their normal dietary habits. Daily hunger ratings recorded for up to 10 weeks showed that guar gum reduced hunger significantly better than commercially available bran taken in the same way. Thus, guar gum seemed to influence carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in a beneficial way in obese subjects. The reduction in hunger would offer an additional benefit to these patients.