Methodology for adding glycemic index and glycemic load values to 24-hour dietary recall database

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Blood Glucose; Body Weight; Chronic Disease; Databases, Factual; *Diet; Diet Surveys; Dietary Carbohydrates; Female; Food; Food Analysis; *Glycemic Index; Humans; Male; Mental Recall; Middle Aged; Prognosis


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Preventive Medicine


OBJECTIVES: We describe a method of adding the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) values to the nutrient database of the 24-hour dietary recall interview (24HR), a widely used dietary assessment. We also calculated daily GI and GL values from the 24HR.

METHODS: Subjects were 641 healthy adults from central Massachusetts who completed 9067 24HRs. The 24HR-derived food data were matched to the International Table of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values. The GI values for specific foods not in the table were estimated against similar foods according to physical and chemical factors that determine GI. Mixed foods were disaggregated into individual ingredients.

RESULTS: Of 1261 carbohydrate-containing foods in the database, GI values of 602 foods were obtained from a direct match (47.7%), accounting for 22.36% of dietary carbohydrate. GI values from 656 foods (52.1%) were estimated, contributing to 77.64% of dietary carbohydrate. The GI values from three unknown foods (0.2%) could not be assigned. The average daily GI was 84 (SD 5.1, white bread as referent) and the average GL was 196 (SD 63).

CONCLUSION: Using this methodology for adding GI and GL values to nutrient databases, it is possible to assess associations between GI and/or GL and body weight and chronic disease outcomes (diabetes, cancer, heart disease). This method can be used in clinical and survey research settings where 24HRs are a practical means for assessing diet. The implications for using this methodology compel a broader evaluation of diet with disease outcomes.

DOI of Published Version



Nutrition. 2006 Nov-Dec;22(11-12):1087-95. Epub 2006 Oct 9. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.)

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID