Fasting plasma immunoreactive insulin levels increased with age in hyperinsulinemic Koletsky obese rats, being almost four times as high as in lean siblings at 3 mo (40 +/- 5 muU/ml) and rising steadily to 82 +/- 4 muU/ml at 6 mo (about seven times higher than lean siblings). Restricting the food intake of the obese rats markedly reduced but did not normalize the hyperinsulinemia, which in these rats was accompanied by normal plasma glucose concentrations. The incorporation in vivo of D-U-14C-glucose into tissue lipids and glycogen was measured 1 hr after the intravenous injection of 1 g glucose (containing 100 muDi D-U-14C-glucose) per kg body weight in obese rats eating ad libitum, obese rats after 3 mo on a restricted food intake, and lean siblings. All tissues (heart, diaphragm, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissues and liver) of obese rats exhibited a significantly greater lipogenesis from glucose than those of lean siblings. Dietary restriction of the obese rats reduced the 14C incorporation into lipid to levels not significantly different from lean controls in all tissues except skeletal muscle and liver, where, although greatly reduced, lipogenesis was still significantly higher than in lean rats. Glycogen synthesis tended to be greater in all tissues of obese rats than in lean animals. Dietary restriction of obese rats did not greatly affect glycogen synthesis.