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Obes Res. 2004 Nov;12 Suppl 2:124S-9S.

Carbohydrates and increases in obesity: does the type of carbohydrate make a difference?

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


With the prevalence of obesity increasing in the U.S. and elsewhere, the place of carbohydrates in the diet has recently been under closer examination. This has led to the development of methods for analyzing the effects of dietary carbohydrate. Primary among these methods is the glycemic index, a measure of a food's effect on blood glucose levels, which was initially designed as a method for determining suitable carbohydrates for people with diabetes. However, the glycemic index does not address other metabolic issues related to excess sugar consumption. Prominent among these issues is the use of low glycemic index sweeteners, particularly fructose, which is increasingly present in processed food. Fructose is associated with increased adiposity, which may result from its effects on hormones associated with satiety. Other methods of determining "good" carbohydrates have also been developed. The common theme among them is increased nonstarchy vegetables and higher-fiber legumes.

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