[en] The similarities between patients with untreated growth hormone (GH) deficiency and those with the cardiometabolic syndrome and the beneficial effects of recombinant human GH (rhGH) on body composition have led to the hypothesis that rhGH treatment may have utility in obesity. GH release is reduced in the setting of obesity, primarily due to hyperinsulinism and increased free fatty acid levels. We reviewed the outcomes of 23 clinical studies carried out between 1987 and 2006 that examined the effects of rhGH administration in the obese state. Typically, changes in overall body weight do not occur with rhGH therapy; however, assessment of body composition demonstrates reductions in visceral abdominal fat. Data on the effects of rhGH on lipid and carbohydrate metabolic profiles in obese patients are less clear-cut, with a subset of studies showing a beneficial effect and others a neutral effect. Given the increasing burden of obesity in the general population and the current paucity of effective therapies, it is useful to consider the data on rhGH and obesity from a clinical perspective to highlight potential treatment strategies that harness the somatotropic axis.