Carbohydrate intake - current knowledge on weight management

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2022 Jul 1;25(4):265-270. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000840.


Purpose of review: Carbohydrates are the main contributor to daily energy intake and, thus, might play an essential role in the development and treatment of obesity. This nonsystematic literature overview summarized current knowledge about the association between carbohydrate intake (quantity and quality) and weight management.

Recent findings: There is scientific evidence for the association between the quality of carbohydrates and body weight or metabolic parameters (e.g. fasting glucose). Thus, dietary intake of high-quality carbohydrates should be preferred over food with a low carbohydrate quality. In contrast, heterogeneous data are available for the association between the amount of carbohydrate intake and anthropometric parameters (e.g. body weight, body fat). Regulation of dietary intake and body weight is complex. For instance, gene-diet interactions might play a role in carbohydrate intake and metabolism.

Summary: There is evidence for the association between intake of high-quality carbohydrates and body weight. However, for the treatment of obesity, a negative energy balance is crucial. The success in weight loss was independent of the quantity and quality of carbohydrate intake. To sum up, recently published literature does not change the current opinion about carbohydrate intake and obesity.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Dietary Carbohydrates* / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats* / metabolism
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Humans
  • Obesity / therapy


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats