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Harvard Medical School Nurses’Health Study
Position on Glycemic Index

NURSES’ HEALTH STUDY 
ANNUAL NEWSLETTER

Volume 9, 2003

Funded by the Federal government through the 
National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the 
National Institutes of Health (NIH).

 

Nurses’ Health Study 
Harvard Medical School
Dr. Frank Speizer, Founding Principal Investigator
Dr.Walter Willett, Principal Investigator 
of Nurses’ Health Study II
Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH, Principal Investigator

www.NursesHealthStudy.org

Glycemic Index 

Not all foods affect blood glucose levels in the same way. Some foods have what is called a high glycemic index, which means that they can raise blood glucose levels rapidly. 

Eating a lot of high glycemic index foods forces the body to produce insulin in large amounts to try to clear the high levels of glucose in the blood. Over time, this increase in insulin production can increase the risk of diabetes.

In the NHS, we found that women who ate the most foods with a high glycemic index had a 50% greater risk of diabetes than those who ate the least. 

Examples of foods with a high glycemic index include baked potatoes and white bread, while foods with a low glycemic index include apples, beans, and whole grain pasta.

 

Copyright 2002 Nurses’ Health Study

 

DONATIONS & BEQUESTS
Donations & bequests to the Friends of the Nurses’ Health Study Fund at Harvard Medical School can be sent to the Channing Laboratory.

 

FUNDING FOR THE NURSES’ HEALTH STUDY
Since 1976, the Federal government has continuously funded the Nurses’ Health Study through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They have also continuously funded the Nurses’ Health Study II since its inception in 1989.