Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load in relation to changes in body composition measures during adolescence: Northern Ireland Young Hearts Study

Subjects

Abstract

Background:

Epidemiologic evidence on the influence of dietary glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) on the development of obesity is limited.

Objective:

This prospective study examined the associations between dietary GI and GL and changes in body composition measures during adolescence.

Design:

In a representative sample of Northern Irish adolescents aged 12 years at baseline and 15 years at follow-up (n=426), dietary intake was assessed by a diet history interview. Body composition measures included body mass index (BMI; kg m−2), BMI z-score, sum of four skinfold thicknesses, percentage body fat, fat mass index (FMI; kg m−2) and fat-free mass index (kg m−2).

Results:

After adjustment for potential confounding factors, baseline GI was associated with increased change in FMI. Mean (95% confidence interval) values of changes in FMI according to tertiles of baseline GI were 0.41 (0.25, 0.57), 0.42 (0.26, 0.58) and 0.67 (0.51, 0.83) kg m−2, respectively (P for trend=0.03). There was no significant association of baseline GI with changes in other body composition measures (P for trend0.054). Conversely, baseline GL showed no association with changes in any of the measures (P for trend0.41). Furthermore, changes in GI or GL were not associated with changes in any of the measures (P for trend0.16).

Conclusion:

Dietary GI at age 12 years was independently associated with increased change in FMI between ages 12 and 15 years in a representative sample from Northern Ireland, whereas dietary GL showed no association with changes in any of the body composition measures examined.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. Dietz WH . Critical periods in childhood for the development of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr 1994; 59: 955–959.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Williams J, Wake M, Hesketh K, Maher E, Waters E . Health-related quality of life of overweight and obese children. JAMA 2005; 293: 70–76.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Swallen KC, Reither EN, Haas SA, Meier AM . Overweight, obesity, and health-related quality of life among adolescents: the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Pediatrics 2005; 115: 340–347.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Berenson GS, Srinivasan SR, Bao W, Newman WP 3rd, Tracy RE, Wattigney WA . Association between multiple cardiovascular risk factors and atherosclerosis in children and young adults. The Bogalusa Heart Study. N Engl J Med 1998; 338: 1650–1656.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Mahoney LT, Burns TL, Stanford W, Thompson BH, Witt JD, Rost CA et al. Coronary risk factors measured in childhood and young adult life are associated with coronary artery calcification in young adults: the Muscatine Study. J Am Coll Cardiol 1996; 27: 277–284.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Kvaavik E, Tell GS, Klepp KI . Predictors and tracking of body mass index from adolescence into adulthood: follow-up of 18 to 20 years in the Oslo Youth Study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2003; 157: 1212–1218.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Whitaker RC, Wright JA, Pepe MS, Seidel KD, Dietz WH . Predicting obesity in young adulthood from childhood and parental obesity. N Engl J Med 1997; 337: 869–873.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Ludwig DS . The glycemic index: physiological mechanisms relating to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. JAMA 2002; 287: 2414–2423.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Stevenson EJ, Williams C, Mash LE, Phillips B, Nute ML . Influence of high-carbohydrate mixed meals with different glycemic indexes on substrate utilization during subsequent excercise in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2006; 84: 354–360.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Pereira MA, Swain J, Goldfine AB, Rifai N, Ludwig DS . Effects of a low-glycemic load diet on resting energy expenditure and heart disease risk factors during weight loss. JAMA 2004; 292: 2482–2490.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Augustin LS, Franceschi S, Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, La Vecchia C . Glycemic index in chronic disease: a review. Eur J Clin Nutr 2002; 56: 1049–1071.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Davis JN, Alexander KE, Ventura EE, Kelly LA, Lane CJ, Byrd-Williams CE et al. Associations of dietary sugar and glycemic index with adiposity and insulin dynamics in overweight Latino youth. Am J Clin Nutr 2007; 86: 1331–1338.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. O’Sullivan TA, Lyons-Wall P, Bremner AP, Ambrosini GL, Huang RC, Beilin LJ et al. Dietary glycaemic carbohydrate in relation to the metabolic syndrome in adolescents: comparison of different metabolic syndrome definitions. Diabet Med 2010; 27: 770–778.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Nielsen BM, Bjornsbo KS, Tetens I, Heitmann BL . Dietary glycaemic index and glycaemic load in Danish children in relation to body fatness. Br J Nutr 2005; 94: 992–997.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Murakami K, Miyake Y, Sasaki S, Tanaka K, Arakawa M . Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load in relation to risk of overweight in Japanese children and adolescents: the Ryukyus Child Health Study. Int J Obes 2011; 35: 925–936.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Cheng G, Karaolis-Danckert N, Libuda L, Bolzenius K, Remer T, Buyken AE . Relation of dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, and fiber and whole-grain intakes during puberty to the concurrent development of percent body fat and body mass index. Am J Epidemiol 2009; 169: 667–677.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Joslowski G, Goletzke J, Cheng G, Gunther AL, Bao J, Brand-Miller JC et al. Prospective associations of dietary insulin demand, glycemic index, and glycemic load during puberty with body composition in young adulthood. Int J Obes 2012; 36: 1463–1471.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. van Bakel MM, Kaaks R, Feskens EJ, Rohrmann S, Welch AA, Pala V et al. Dietary glycaemic index and glycaemic load in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009; 63 (Suppl 4): S188–S205.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Du H, van der A DL, van Bakel MME, Slimani N, Forouhi NG, Wareham NJ et al. Dietary glycaemic index, glycaemic load and subsequent changes of weight and waist circumference in European men and women. Int J Obes 2009; 33: 1280–1288.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Boreham C, Savage JM, Primrose D, Cran G, Strain J . Coronary risk factors in schoolchildren. Arch Dis Child 1993; 68: 182–186.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  21. Strain JJ, Robson PJ, Livingstone MBE, Primrose ED, Savage JM, Cran GW et al. Estimates of food and macronutrient intake in a random sample of Northern Ireland adolescents. Br J Nutr 1994; 72: 343–352.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Boreham C, Twisk J, van Mechelen W, Savage M, Strain J, Cran G . Relationships between the development of biological risk factors for coronary heart disease and lifestyle parameters during adolescence: the Northern Ireland Young Hearts Project. Public Health 1999; 113: 7–12.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Cole TJ, Freeman JV, Preece MA . Body mass index reference curves for the UK, 1990. Arch Dis Child 1995; 73: 25–29.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  24. Cole TJ, Bellizzi MC, Flegal KM, Dietz WH . Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: international survey. BMJ 2000; 320: 1240–1243.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  25. Durnin JV, Rahaman MM . The assessment of the amount of fat in the human body from measurements of skinfold thickness: 1967. Br J Nutr 2003; 89: 147–155.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. VanItallie TB, Yang MU, Heymsfield SB, Funk RC, Boileau RA . Height-normalized indices of the body’s fat-free mass and fat mass: potentially useful indicators of nutritional status. Am J Clin Nutr 1990; 52: 953–959.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. van Staveren WA, de Boer JO, Burema J . Validity and reproducibility of a dietary history method estimating the usual food intake during one month. Am J Clin Nutr 1985; 42: 554–559.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Livingstone MBE, Prentice AM, Coward WA, Strain JJ, Black AE, Davies PSW et al. Validation of estimates of energy intake by weighed dietary record and diet history in children and adolescents. Am J Clin Nutr 1992; 56: 29–35.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. Food Standards Agency. McCance & Widdowson’s the Composition of Foods 5th edn. Royal Society of Chemistry: Cambridge, UK, 1991.

  30. Louie JCY, Flood V, Turner N, Everingham C, Gwynn J . Methodology for adding glycemic index values to 24-hour recalls. Nutrition 2010; 27: 59–64.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. van Bakel MM, Slimani N, Feskens EJ, Du H, Beulens JW, van der Schouw YT et al. Methodological challenges in the application of the glycemic index in epidemiological studies using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. J Nutr 2009; 139: 568–575.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  32. Flood A, Subar AF, Hull SG, Zimmerman TP, Jenkins DJ, Schatzkin A . Methodology for adding glycemic load values to the National Cancer Institute Diet History Questionnaire database. J Am Diet Assoc 2006; 106: 393–402.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Atkinson FS, Foster-Powell K, Brand-Miller JC . International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008. Diabetes Care 2008; 31: 2281–2283.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  34. Riddoch C, Savage JM, Murphy N, Cran GW, Boreham C . Long term health implications of fitness and physical activity patterns. Arch Dis Child 1991; 66: 1426–1433.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  35. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty acids, Cholesterol, Protein and Amino Acids. National Academy Press: Washington, DC, 2002.

  36. Tanner JM . Growth at Adolescence. Blackwell: Oxford, UK, 1962.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Buyken AE, Cheng G, Gunther ALB, Liese AD, Remer T, Karaolis-Danckert N . Relation of dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, added sugar intake, or fiber intake to the development of body composition between ages 2 and 7 y. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 88: 755–762.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  38. Ma Y, Olendzki B, Chiriboga D, Hebert JR, Li Y, Li W et al. Association between dietary carbohydrates and body weight. Am J Epidemiol 2005; 161: 359–367.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  39. Hare-Bruun H, Flint A, Heitmann BL . Glycemic index and glycemic load in relation to changes in body weight, body fat distribution, and body composition in adult Danes. Am J Clin Nutr 2006; 84: 871–879.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  40. Du H, van der A DL, van Bakel MME, van der Kallen CJH, Blaak EE, van Greevenbroek MMJ et al. Glycemic index and glycemic load in relation to food and nutrient intake and metabolic risk factors in a Dutch population. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87: 655–661.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  41. Mendez MA, Covas MI, Marrugat J, Vila J, Schroder H . Glycemic load, glycemic index, and body mass index in Spanish adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2009; 89: 316–322.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Schulz M, Liese AD, Mayer-Davis EJ, D’Agostino RB Jr, Fang F, Sparks KC et al. Nutritional correlates of dietary glycaemic index: new aspects from a population perspective. Br J Nutr 2005; 94: 397–406.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  43. Liu S, Willett WC, Manson JE, Hu FB, Rosner B, Colditz G . Relation between changes in intakes of dietary fiber and grain products and changes in weight and development of obesity among middle-aged women. Am J Clin Nutr 2003; 78: 920–927.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. Garn SM, Leonard WR, Hawthorne VM . Three limitations of the body mass index. Am J Clin Nutr 1986; 44: 996–997.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. Nooyens AC, Koppes LL, Visscher TL, Twisk JW, Kemper HC, Schuit AJ et al. Adolescent skinfold thickness is a better predictor of high body fatness in adults than is body mass index: the Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2007; 85: 1533–1539.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  46. Fiorito LM, Marini M, Francis LA, Smiciklas-Wright H, Birch LL . Beverage intake of girls at age 5 y predicts adiposity and weight status in childhood and adolescence. Am J Clin Nutr 2009; 90: 935–942.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  47. Wells JC . A critique of the expression of paediatric body composition data. Arch Dis Child 2001; 85: 67–72.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  48. Eisenmann JC, Heelan KA, Welk GJ . Assessing body composition among 3- to 8-year-old children: anthropometry, BIA, and DXA. Obes Res 2004; 12: 1633–1640.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This work was supported in part by the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research Abroad, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan (to KM). Members of the Young Hearts Study Group are as follows: Liam J Murray, Maurice J Savage, Ian S Young, JJ Strain, Gordon Cran, Paula J Robson and Jayne V Woodside.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Consortia

Corresponding author

Correspondence to K Murakami.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Murakami, K., McCaffrey, T., Gallagher, A. et al. Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load in relation to changes in body composition measures during adolescence: Northern Ireland Young Hearts Study. Int J Obes 38, 252–258 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2013.63

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2013.63

Keywords

  • glycemic index
  • glycemic load
  • diet
  • body composition
  • fat mass index
  • adolescence

Further reading

Search

Quick links