The quantity and anatomical distribution of adipose tissue are key drivers of the metabolic syndrome. Obesity and abdominal visceral adiposity in particular are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Accumulating evidence suggests that childhood and adolescence are critical periods for shaping adipose tissue properties. However, the control of adipose progenitor proliferation and hyperplasia by dietary components are poorly understood. Meln, Wolff, et al. have investigated the role of excess calories and dietary lipids in adipose tissue proliferative growth in juvenile mice and found that both differentially and synergistically drive adipose tissue proliferative growth and the programming of the metabolic syndrome in childhood.