Abstract Aims/Introduction Microribonucleic acid‐155 (microRNA155) and microRNA29 are reported to inhibit glucose metabolism in some cell and animal models, but no evidence from susceptible populations that examines the relationship between microRNA155 or microRNA29 and type 2 diabetes mellitus currently exists. Furthermore, target genes regulated by microRNA155 and microRNA29 that affect glucose and lipid metabolism remain unknown. Materials and Methods Human participants were divided into normal weight (n = 72), obesity (n = 120) and type 2 diabetes (n = 59) groups. The contents of microRNA155 and microRNA29 abundance in serum were measured, and candidate genes potentially related to glucose and lipid metabolism targeted by either microRNA155 or microRNA29 were screened. Overexpression of microRNA155 and microRNA29 in HepG2 cells was used to verify candidate gene expression, and measure the effects on glucose and lipid metabolism. Results Serum levels of microRNA155 and microRNA29 show a significant increase in individuals with obesity and type 2 diabetes compared with normal weight individuals. Identified target genes for microRNA155 were MAPK14, MAP3K10, DUSP14 and PRKAR2B. Identified target genes for microRNA29 were PEX11A and FADS1. Overexpression of microRNA155 or microRNA29 in HepG2 cells was found to downregulate the expression of identified target genes, and result in inhibition of triglyceride synthesis and glucose incorporation. Conclusions MicroRNA155 and microRNA29 were significantly higher in type 2 diabetes patients compared with the control patients, their levels were also positively correlated with fasting plasma glucose levels, and over‐expression of microRNA155 or microRNA29 were found to downregulate glucose and lipid metabolism target genes, and reduce lipid synthesis and glucose incorporation in HepG2 cells.