Obesity is associated with increased prevalence of metabolic disorders, such as inflammation, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia, which can predispose an individual to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Adipose tissue (AT) is now recognized as a metabolically active organ that controls plasma free fatty acid levels and contributes to systemic metabolic homeostasis by secreting adipokines. In obesity, the recruitment of immune cells, such as T cells and macrophages, to AT causes inflammation, which is thought to contribute to local insulin resistance. This loss of insulin sensitivity within AT can lead to uncontrolled release of fatty acids, secretion of inflammatory cytokines, and alterations in the balance of adipokines, which ultimately impact lipoprotein metabolism and insulin sensitivity systemically. Thus, AT itself plays an important role in the increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease that is associated with obesity.