Spontaneous glucose uptake by brown adipose tissue (BAT) is lower in overweight or obese individuals and in diabetes. However, BAT metabolism has not been previously investigated in patients with type 2 diabetes during controlled cold exposure. Using positron emission tomography with (11)C-acetate, (18)F-fluoro-deoxyglucose ((18)FDG), and (18)F-fluoro-thiaheptadecanoic acid ((18)FTHA), a fatty acid tracer, BAT oxidative metabolism and perfusion and glucose and nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) turnover were determined in men with well-controlled type 2 diabetes and age-matched control subjects under experimental cold exposure designed to minimize shivering. Despite smaller volumes of (18)FDG-positive BAT and lower glucose uptake per volume of BAT compared with young healthy control subjects, cold-induced oxidative metabolism and NEFA uptake per BAT volume and an increase in total body energy expenditure did not differ in patients with type 2 diabetes or their age-matched control subjects. The reduction in (18)FDG-positive BAT volume and BAT glucose clearance were associated with a reduction in BAT radiodensity and perfusion. (18)FDG-positive BAT volume and the cold-induced increase in BAT radiodensity were associated with an increase in systemic NEFA turnover. These results show that cold-induced NEFA uptake and oxidative metabolism are not defective in type 2 diabetes despite reduced glucose uptake per BAT volume and BAT "whitening."