Background: Adiponectin and leptin, adipokines associated with metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, have not been well characterized in extreme pediatric obesity. Therefore, levels were compared in youth that were extremely obese (EO) to normal weight (NW), overweight (OW), and obese (OB) youth. Methods: Leptin, adiponectin, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, fasting glucose, insulin, and lipids were obtained in 277 children and adolescents (age 13.4±2.6 years; 152 boys). Participants were classified into four BMI groups (NW, OW, OB, EO). Variables were compared across groups using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) adjusted for gender, age, and race. Results: Risk factors generally worsened across BMI groups. EO had significantly higher levels of leptin than OB (P<0.0001), OW (P<0.0001), and NW (P<0.0001). Leptin was higher in OB compared to OW (P<0.005) and NW (P<0.0001) and higher in OW compared to NW (P<0.0001). Adiponectin levels in EO did not significantly differ from OB or OW but were significantly lower than NW (P<0.0001). Adiponectin was not significantly different among the OB, OW, and NW groups. Conclusions: Leptin was markedly elevated in EO children and adolescents, suggesting that this subset of obese youth may be at particularly high risk of future weight gain and potentially reduced response to weight-loss interventions.