Individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI) have a unique physiology characterized by sarcopenia, neurogenic osteoporosis, neurogenic anabolic deficiency, sympathetic dysfunction, and blunted satiety associated with their SCI, all of which alter energy balance and subsequently body composition. The distinct properties of “neurogenic obesity” place this population at great risk for metabolic dysfunction, including systemic inflammation, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the relationship between neurogenic obesity and the metabolic syndrome after SCI, highlighting the mechanisms associated with adipose tissue pathology and those respective comorbidities. Additionally, representative studies of persons with SCI will be provided to elucidate the severity of the problem and to prompt greater vigilance among SCI specialists as well as primary care providers in order to better manage the epidemic from a public health perspective.

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