We have previously reported in lean subjects a significant relationship between plasma norepinephrine metabolism and energy state. The present study has examined in six obese men the response in plasma norepinephrine flux to ten day periods of overeating (+ 1000 kcal/m2 above isocaloric requirements) or undereating (400 kcal/d). Despite significant gains or losses in body weight, norepinephrine flux, measured during constant infusions of 3H-l-norepinephrine, failed to change significantly. Measurements of glucose utilization during constant infusions of insulin, showed significant changes with changing energy state, falling with overeating and rising with undereating. Insulin sensitivity was not correlated with plasma norepinephrine metabolism.