OBJECTIVE

The carbohydrate-insulin model (CIM) claims that chronic exposure to hyperinsulinemia induced by dietary carbohydrates explains development of obesity via direct effects of insulin and/or low postprandial metabolic fuel levels. We aimed at testing whether indices of hyperinsulinemia and postprandial glucose levels can predict increases in the degree of obesity over time.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

Children and adolescents with obesity attending a pediatric obesity clinic performed oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) and received standard obesity management. Indices of hyperinsulinemia and insulin secretion were derived from the OGTT and evaluated in the face of changes in the degree of obesity over time.

RESULTS

A total of 591 children (217 males and 374 females) participated, and the mean follow-up was 1.86 ± 1.29 years. OGTT-derived area under the curve of insulin, peak insulin, fasting insulin, the insulinogenic index, or insulin at 30 min were not associated with greater changes in the degree of obesity in univariate or multivariate analyses (adjusted for baseline age, BMI z score, sex, and ethnicity). Low postprandial glucose <75 mg/dL was not associated with greater changes in the degree of obesity in univariate or multivariate analyses. In a subsample of 104 participants with a follow-up >4 years, none of these parameters was associated with greater increases in the degree of obesity.

CONCLUSIONS

In children and adolescents with obesity, exposure to hyperinsulinemia, greater insulin secretion, or low postprandial glucose is not associated with greater increases in the degree of obesity over 2–4 years. The CIM should be evaluated in children with lower BMI and for longer follow-up periods.

Clinical trial reg. nos. NCT00000112 and NCT01967849, clinicaltrials.gov

See accompanying article, p. 1303.

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