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Nutrition. 2013 Sep;29(9):1100-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.02.004. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

Effect of glycemic index and glycemic load on energy intake in children.

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Food Security Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.



Several studies assessed the effect of glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) on energy intake in children but findings are not consistent in this regard. The aim of this study is to summarize and assess the evidence for the effect of GI and GL on energy intake by conducting a meta-analysis on published randomized clinical trials.


Our search process was conducted in PUBMED, Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases. The following keywords were searched in any part of published articles: "glycemic index" OR "glycaemic index" OR "glycemic load" OR "glycaemic load" OR "energy intake" AND "child" OR "children" OR "adolescent" OR "youth."


We gathered 5099 articles. Non-clinical trial studies that did not intervene by GI or GL or those not assessing energy intake as a dependent variable and those that were conducted on patients over age 18 y were excluded. Each included study was evaluated three times and the exclusion criteria was checked. Eventually, six studies from 1999 to 2012 met the criteria (213 participants ages 4-17.5 y). There is heterogeneity in the study's participants in the present paper. Children with type 2 diabetes, obesity, or normal-weight children were recruited in different studies. Overall effect of consuming low GI (LGI) and low GL (LGL) meals on energy intake was not significant. Subgroup analysis showed that LGI (not LGL) meals decreased subsequent energy intake, whereas heterogeneity was significant in the LGI group of studies. Although a slight asymmetry was shown by Begg's funnel plot, the Egger's asymmetry was not significant. We did not find any evidence of publication bias for studies assessing the effect of low GI or GL meals on energy intake.


Consuming LGI diet (not LGL) has favorable effect on reducing energy intake and obesity, subsequently.


Children; Energy intake; Glycemic index; Glycemic load

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