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Adv Pediatr. 2001;48:179-212.

Treating obesity in youth: should dietary glycemic load be a consideration?

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Harvard Medical School, and Children's Hospital, Boston, Mass, USA.


Although the adverse effects of excess adiposity on health outcomes are widely recognized, there is no consensus regarding the most appropriate dietary strategies for managing obesity in youth. Recently, a novel dietary variable termed glycemic load has been postulated to influence hunger and body weight regulation. Glycemic load, a measure of the effects of a meal on blood glucose levels, is determined by the type and the amount of carbohydrate consumed. According to a hypothetical model, ingestion of high-glycemic load meals induces a sequence of hormonal changes that alter partitioning of metabolic fuels, exacerbate hunger, and over the long-term, promote weight gain. This chapter provides an overview of the available evidence suggesting that dietary glycemic load, and its related factor, the glycemic index, should be taken into consideration in the design of weight loss interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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