Dietary glycaemic index and glycaemic load among Australian adults - results from the 2011-2012 Australian Health Survey

Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 6:7:43882. doi: 10.1038/srep43882.


This study aimed to determine the major food groups contributing to dietary glycaemic load (GL). Plausible food intake data collected using a multiple-pass 24 hour recall from a weighted sample of 6326 adult respondents (52% male) of the 2011-2012 Australian Health Survey dataset (AHS) were analysed. The GI of foods was estimated based on a previously published step-wise method. Descriptive statistics were calculated for dietary glycaemic index (GI), GL and contribution to GL by major food groups, stratified by age and sex. Trends across age groups were assessed using linear regression. Pearson's χ2 was used to test for differences between age groups for categorical demographics variables. The mean (SD) dietary GI and GL was 54 (7) and 135 (59) respectively and the top 3 contributors to dietary GL were breads (14.4%), cereal-based dishes (10.3%) and breakfast cereals (ready to eat) (6.6%). There were small but significant differences in the GL contribution pattern between the sexes. The findings indicate that the average dietary GI of Australian adults is similar to that of other population groups, with a large proportion of starchy and energy-dense nutrient-poor foods that contribute to a high GL.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index*
  • Glycemic Load*
  • Health Surveys / methods
  • Health Surveys / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys / methods
  • Nutrition Surveys / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose