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Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jul;76(1):281S-5S.

Glycemic index and obesity.

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  • 1Human Nutrition Unit, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia. j.brandmiller@biochem.usyd.edu.au

Abstract

Although weight loss can be achieved by any means of energy restriction, current dietary guidelines have not prevented weight regain or population-level increases in obesity and overweight. Many high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets may be counterproductive to weight control because they markedly increase postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. Many high-carbohydrate foods common to Western diets produce a high glycemic response [high-glycemic-index (GI) foods], promoting postprandial carbohydrate oxidation at the expense of fat oxidation, thus altering fuel partitioning in a way that may be conducive to body fat gain. In contrast, diets based on low-fat foods that produce a low glycemic response (low-GI foods) may enhance weight control because they promote satiety, minimize postprandial insulin secretion, and maintain insulin sensitivity. This hypothesis is supported by several intervention studies in humans in which energy-restricted diets based on low-GI foods produced greater weight loss than did equivalent diets based on high-GI foods. Long-term studies in animal models have also shown that diets based on high-GI starches promote weight gain, visceral adiposity, and higher concentrations of lipogenic enzymes than do isoenergetic, macronutrientcontrolled, low-GI-starch diets. In a study of healthy pregnant women, a high-GI diet was associated with greater weight at term than was a nutrient-balanced, low-GI diet. In a study of diet and complications of type 1 diabetes, the GI of the overall diet was an independent predictor of waist circumference in men. These findings provide the scientific rationale to justify randomized, controlled, multicenter intervention studies comparing the effects of conventional and low-GI diets on weight control.

PMID:
12081852
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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