The glycemic index was proposed in 1981 as an alternative system for
classifying carbohydrate-containing food. Since then, several hundred scientific
articles and numerous popular diet books have been published on the topic.
However, the clinical significance of the glycemic index remains the subject
of debate. The purpose of this review is to examine the physiological effects
of the glycemic index and the relevance of these effects in preventing and
treating obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.