Obesity is dramatically increasing virtually worldwide, which has been linked to the rising prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Excess fat accumulation causes severe alterations in adipose tissue function. Actually, adipose tissue is now recognized as a major endocrine and secretory organ that releases a wide variety of signaling molecules (hormones, growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, etc.), the adipokines, which play central roles in the regulation of energy metabolism and homeostasis, immunity and inflammation. In addition, adipose tissue is no longer regarded as a passive lipid storage site but as a highly dynamic energy depot which stores excess energy during periods of positive energy balance and mobilizes it in periods of nutrient deficiency in a tightly regulated manner. Altered lipid release and adipokine production and signaling, as occurs in obesity, are linked to insulin resistance and the associated comorbidities of metabolic syndrome (dyslipidemia, hypertension), which confer an increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Here we summarize current knowledge on adipose tissue and review the contribution of novel techniques and experimental approaches in adipobiology to the identification of novel biomarkers and potential targets for dietary or pharmacological intervention to prevent and treat adipose tissue-associated diseases.