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Br J Nutr. 2018 Jul;120(2):227-230. doi: 10.1017/S0007114518001459.

Low 10-year reproducibility of glycaemic index and glycaemic load in a prospective cohort study.

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1International Prevention Research Institute,95 Cours Lafayette,69006 Lyon,France.
2Department of Human Biometrics and Biomechanics, Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy,Vrije Universiteit Brussel,Pleinlaan 2,1050 Brussels,Belgium.
5Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences,KU Leuven,Tervuursevest 101,3001 Leuven,Belgium.


When relating glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) to health outcomes, many prospective cohort studies assess the nutritional exposure only once in time, that is, at the start of the study, presuming a stability in nutritional consumption during the course of the study. The aim of this study is to investigate the reproducibility of GI and GL. This is a prospective cohort study in which 562 middle-aged Belgian adults noted all foods and drinks consumed during 3 d in 2002 and 2012. GI and GL were calculated after reference tables. The Pearson correlation coefficients between 2002 and 2012 were 0·27 for GI and 0·41 for GL. For GI, 33 % of the participants remained in the same quintile between 2002 and 2012, whereas 31 % moved to a non-adjacent quintile. For GL, this was 34 and 28 %, respectively. The lowest and the highest quintiles of GI were the most stable, with 40 and 44 % of the participants staying in the same quintile. This was only 22 % for the fourth quintile. The same tendency was present for GL - that is, the most extreme quintiles were the most stable. This study shows 10-year correlation coefficients for GI and GL below 0·50. Multiple nutritional assessments and limiting the analysis to the extreme quintiles of GI and GL will limit a possible misclassification in the prospective cohort studies owing to the low reproducibility.


GI glycaemic index; GL glycaemic load; Glycaemic index; Glycaemic load; Nutritional assessments; Reproducibility


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