Backgroundback to the Conference Program
Aboriginal Australians have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM), which occurs up to 9 times the rate of that in non-Aboriginal Australians, due to westernisation of their diets. Many foods currently available are digested and absorbed quickly, i.e. have a high glycemic index (GI). Chronic consumption of high GI foods have been linked to an increased risk of developing T2DM. Despite this, there are no published data regarding the overall dietary GI and glycemic load (GL) of Aboriginal Australian children.
To assess the dietary GI and GL of participants of Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project (MRDPP), and identify the main foods contributing to their GI and GL.
Food intake of 225 children aged 10–12 years was obtained by three 24-hour recalls as part of the MRDPP; 40% of participants were Aboriginal. A purpose-built GI database was created, and the mean dietary GI and GL were assessed. The foods were ranked according to their contribution to total carbohydrate (CHO), GI and GL.
Preliminary analysis showed breads (particularly white breads) contributed more than 16% of the participants’ daily CHO intake, followed by sugar sweetened drinks (12.5%), breakfast cereals (6.9%), milk (6.7%) and high fat potatoes (e.g. chips) (6.4%). Of the top 20 CHO contributors, 12 were classified as energy dense, nutrient poor (i.e. ‘extra’) foods. White bread was the main contributor of dietary GI and GL. Other major contributors were potatoes, sugar sweetened beverages and breakfast cereals.
The dietary GI and GL of the participants were high, which is likely to place them at increased risk of developing T2DM. The quality of CHO in their diet was also low, with ‘extra’ foods contributing most of the GI and GL. We will present information about what practical changes can be made to lower GI and GL, and improve the quality of CHO in this population.