Association between dietary carbohydrate, glycemic index, glycemic load, and the prevalence of obesity in Korean men and women

Nutr Res. 2012 Mar;32(3):153-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2011.12.009. Epub 2012 Feb 6.


Intake of high-glycemic index (GI) food has been postulated to reduce satiety, resulting in an increased total energy intake and reduced access to body fat as fuel. Thus, we hypothesize that high dietary GI and glycemic load (GL) are associated with an increased prevalence of obesity in the Korean population. Dietary GI and GL were calculated for 933 Korean men and women based on dietary intake assessed by food frequency questionnaires and using a GI table developed from published GI databases in a cross-sectional design. Mean differences in dietary GL and carbohydrate intake between obese and nonobese men were statistically significant after adjusting for covariates (P = .027 and .021, respectively). High dietary GL and carbohydrate intake were negatively associated with the prevalence of obesity among men in a multivariate-adjusted logistic regression model (P for trend = .026 and .036, respectively). Statistically significant effects of dietary GI and GL on the prevalence of obesity among women were observed in a generalized linear model (P = .002 and .042, respectively) and a logistic regression model (P for trend < .001 and = .007, respectively), after adjusting for covariates. Women with higher dietary GI and GL were more likely to be obese, a result consistent with our hypothesis. However, an inverse association for dietary GL and carbohydrate and prevalence of obesity was found in men, suggesting that mechanisms contributing to the prevalence of obesity between sexes may be different.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Diet Surveys
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Prevalence
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Carbohydrates