Obesity is an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms by which obesity affects cardiovascular risk have not been fully elucidated. This paper reports a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis on obesity and two key aspects of vascular health using gold-standard non-invasive measures - arterial endothelial function (brachial flow-mediated dilatation) and subclinical atherosclerosis (carotid intima-media thickness).Electronic searches for 'Obesity and flow-mediated dilatation' and 'Obesity and intima-media thickness' were performed using Ovid Medline and Embase databases. A meta-analysis was undertaken for brachial flow-mediated dilatation and carotid intima-media thickness to obtain pooled estimates for adults with obesity and those with healthy weight.Of the 5,810 articles retrieved, 19 studies on flow-mediated dilatation and 19 studies on intima-media thickness were included. Meta-analysis demonstrated that obesity was associated with lower flow-mediated dilatation (-1.92 % [95% CI -2.92, -0.92], P = 0.0002) and greater carotid intima-media thickness (0.07 mm [95% CI 0.05, 0.08], P < 0.0001).Obesity is associated with poorer arterial endothelial function and increased subclinical atherosclerosis, consistent with these aspects of vascular health at least partially contributing to the increased risk of cardiovascular events in adults with obesity. These estimated effect sizes will enable vascular health benefits in response to weight loss treatment to be put in greater perspective, both in the research setting and potentially also clinical practice.