J Nutr Health.  2020 Oct;53(5):464-475. 10.4163/jnh.2020.53.5.464.

Effects of a low glycemic load diet on body weight loss in overweight or obese young adults

  • 1Department of Foods and Nutrition, Kookmin University, Seoul 02707, Korea
  • 2Corporate Technology Office, Pulmuone Co., Ltd. Seoul 06367, Korea


This study compared the effects of a high glycemic load (high GL) diet and low glycemic load (low GL) diet on the body weight, body fat, blood pressure, and blood lipid indicators.
Twenty-one young adults aged between 21 and 28 years who were overweighted or obese (body mass index [BMI] between 23 and 33.5 kg/㎡ ) before the study and after calorie reduction diets with either low GL or high GL for 2 weeks each were examined. The study was a randomized crossover design with a 2-week washout period between the 2 types of diet. The order of the low GL and high GL diet periods was randomized. The body weight, body fat, blood pressure, levels of blood lipids, fasting glucose, insulin, homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) insulin, C-peptide, and HOMA C-peptide were measured at the baseline, as well as 2, 4, and 6 weeks after starting the experiment.
When subjects were on the low GL diet, they lost more weight than those eating the high GL diet (mean ± SD, −2.77 ± 1.09 vs. −1.56 ± 0.78 kg; p < 0.001); there were greater decreases in body fat mass (−1.62 ± 1.19 vs. −0.88 ± 0.91 kg; p = 0.024) and BMI (−0.95 ± 0.32 vs. −0.56 ± 1.08 kg/㎡ ; p < 0.001). On the other hand, there were no significant differences in changes in biochemical parameters, such as blood lipids and fasting glucose levels, and blood pressure. The body weight, body fat mass, BMI, percent body fat, blood pressure, cholesterol (total, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein), fasting glucose, C-peptide, HOMA-insulin resistance-C-peptide levels were decreased significantly at 6 weeks.
The low GL diet may be more effective in losing body weight, body fat mass, and BMI than the high GL diet for 2 weeks in healthy young overweight or obese adults.


glycemic load; obesity; weight loss; body mass index; young adult
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