Objective: To investigate whether a diet with a reduced glycaemic index (GI) has effects on appetite, energy intake, body weight and composition in overweight and obese female subjects.
Design: Randomized crossover intervention study including two consecutive 12-week periods. Lower or higher GI versions of key carbohydrate-rich foods (breads, breakfast cereals, rice and pasta/potatoes) were provided to subjects to be incorporated into habitual diets in ad libitum quantities. Foods intended as equivalents to each other were balanced in macronutrient composition, fibre content and energy density.
Subjects: Nineteen overweight and obese women, weight-stable, with moderate hyperinsulinaemia (age: 34-65 years, body mass index: 25-47 kg m(-2), fasting insulin: 49-156 pmol l(-1)).
Measurements: Dietary intake, body weight and composition after each 12-week intervention. Subjectively rated appetite and short-term ad libitum energy intake at a snack and lunch meal following fixed lower and higher GI test breakfasts (GI 52 vs 64) in a laboratory setting.
Results: Free-living diets differed in GI by 8.4 units (55.5 vs 63.9), with key foods providing 48% of carbohydrate intake during both periods. There were no differences in energy intake, body weight or body composition between treatments. On laboratory investigation days, there were no differences in subjective ratings of hunger or fullness, or in energy intake at the snack or lunch meal.
Conclusion: This study provides no evidence to support an effect of a reduced GI diet on satiety, energy intake or body weight in overweight/obese women. Claims that the GI of the diet per se may have specific effects on body weight may therefore be misleading.