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Chiropractic Research Review

Carbohydrates Can Cause Overeating!

Carbohydrate-containing foods that are rapidly digested and absorbed or transformed into glucose have a high glycemic index (GI). Starchy foods such as refined grain products and potatoes have a GI that is higher than table sugar by some 50%.

Vegetables, legumes, and fruits tend to have a low GI.

The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that consumption of high dietary GI foods induces a sequence of hormonal changes that lead to decreased availability of metabolic fuels, excessive hunger, and overeating in obese individuals.

The subjects of this study were 12 boys (mean age 15.7) who were more than 120% of ideal body weight. They were given identical test meals at breakfast and lunch that had a low, medium, or high GI. The results showed that energy intake after a high-GI meal was 53% greater than after a medium-GI meal and 81% greater than after a low-GI meal. Insulin levels were also elevated.

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark


The investigators concluded: "Rapid absorption of glucose after consumption of high-GI meals induces a sequence of hormonal and metabolic changes that promote excessive food intake in obese subjects." They suggest that excessive fat consumption should not remain the prime focus of what causes and maintains obesity. Eating food with a high-GI should be considered a factor in obesity and the risk of diabetes.

Ludwig DS, Majzoub JA, Al-Zahrani A, et al. High glycemic index foods, overeating, and obesity. Pediatrics, Mar. 1999;103(3), p. e26.

Chiropractic Research Review

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