Anthropometric and dietary predictors of insulin sensitivity in 10- to 14-year-old boys and girl

Laura E. Forbes, Shauna M. Downs, Shawn N. Fraser, Sumit R. Majumdar, Geoff D.C. Ball, Ronald C. Plotnikoff, Paul D. Wozny, Brian D. Torrance, Linda J. McCargar, Richard Z. Lewanczuk, Jonathan M. McGavock

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The high prevalence of pediatric obesity has made preventing chronic diseases through healthy lifestyle behaviours a priority within pediatrics. Examining the association between diet and insulin sensitivity (IS) in youth may provide important insights for tailoring preventative dietary interventions. The objective of this study was to explore the associations among anthropometry, diet, and IS in 10- to 14-year-olds. In this cross-sectional study, the primary outcome measure was IS, measured noninvasively using a 13C glucose breath test. Exposure variables included body mass index (BMI) z score and several dietary variables, including glycemic index (GI), glycemic load, and fiber, magnesium, vegetable and fruit, and fat intakes, all of which were derived from a validated, Web-based 24-h recall tool. Multiple regression analyses were performed for boys and girls separately. In total, 378 students (227 girls) aged 12.1 ± 1.2 years were studied. In this sample ~24% of youth were considered overweight or obese (BMI z score = 0.41 ± 0.93). Multiple regression analyses showed that BMI z score was negatively and independently associated with 13C insulin sensitivity score (13CISS) in both boys and girls (boys: ß = -0.501; girls: ß = -0.446; both p < 0.001). GI was negatively and independently related to 13CISS in boys (ß = -0.195, p < 0.05) but not in girls. Other dietary variables were not associated with IS. In addition to BMI z score, a low GI diet predicted 13CISS in boys but not in girls. This finding suggests that interventions that reduce BMI (in both sexes) and include a low GI diet among boys may improve IS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-325
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Adolescence
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diet
  • Insulin resistance
  • Pediatric
  • Type 2


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