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Glycemic index claims on food labels: review of Health Canada's evaluation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24105325     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Recently Health Canada (HC) published its opinion that including glycemic index (GI) values on food labels would be misleading and not add value to nutrition labeling and dietary guidelines to help consumers make healthier food choices. Important areas of concern were identified by HC, but the discussion of them is scientifically invalid. HC concluded that GI has poor precision for labeling purposes based on incorrect application of the standard deviation. In fact, GI methodology is precise enough to distinguish, with high probability, low-GI (GI55) from high-GI (GI70) foods and to pass the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Nutrition Compliance Test procedure. HC rightly concluded that GI does not respond to portion size, whereas glycemic response does, but no valid evidence was provided to support the assertion that a lower-GI food could have a higher glycemic response. HC's focus on glycemic response could promote a low-carbohydrate diet inconsistent with nutrition recommendations. HC correctly concluded that GI is unresponsive to the replacement of available- with unavailable-carbohydrate but this is irrelevant to GI labeling. HC is rightly concerned about promoting unhealthy low-GI foods; however, this could be avoided by prohibiting GI labeling on such foods. Therefore, HC has provided neither a helpful nor scientifically valid evaluation of GI for labeling purposes but has contributed to the wealth of misinformation about GI in the literature. Currently, Canadian consumers only have access to unregulated and misleading information about GI; well-crafted guidelines for GI labeling would provide consumers accurate information about GI and help them make healthier food choices.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 9 October 2013; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.193.
T M S Wolever
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-10-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  European journal of clinical nutrition     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1476-5640     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur J Clin Nutr     Publication Date:  2013 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-10-9     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8804070     Medline TA:  Eur J Clin Nutr     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto; Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital; and Glycemic Index Laboratories, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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