Dietary Glycaemic Index Labelling: A Global Perspective

Alan W. Barclay, Livia Silvia Adriana Augustin, Furio Brighenti, Elizabeth Delport, C. Jeyakumar Henry, John L. Sievenpiper, Kathy Usic, Yang Yuexin, Andreea Zurbau, Thomas M.S. Wolever, Arne Astrup, M Bulló, Anette Buyken, Antonio Ceriello, Peter Ellis, Marie-Ann Vanginkel, Cyril W.C. Kendall, Carlo La Vecchia, Geoffrey Livesey, Andrea PoliGabriele Riccardi, Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Antonia Trichopoulou, Kalpana Bhaskaran, David Jenkins, Walter C. Willett, Jennie Brand-Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The glycaemic index (GI) is a food metric that ranks the acute impact of available (digest-ible) carbohydrates on blood glucose. At present, few countries regulate the inclusion of GI on food labels even though the information may assist consumers to manage blood glucose levels. Australia and New Zealand regulate GI claims as nutrition content claims and also recognize the GI Founda-tion’s certified Low GI trademark as an endorsement. The GI Foundation of South Africa endorses foods with low, medium and high GI symbols. In Asia, Singapore’s Healthier Choice Symbol has specific provisions for low GI claims. Low GI claims are also permitted on food labels in India. In China, there are no national regulations specific to GI; however, voluntary claims are permitted. In the USA, GI claims are not specifically regulated but are permitted, as they are deemed to fall under general food-labelling provisions. In Canada and the European Union, GI claims are not legal under current food law. Inconsistences in food regulation around the world undermine consumer and health professional confidence and call for harmonization. Global provisions for GI claims/endorse-ments in food standard codes would be in the best interests of people with diabetes and those at risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3244
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded in part by the Glycemic Index Foundation. J.L.S. was funded by a Diabetes Canada Clinician Scientist Award.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Diabetes
  • Food labels
  • Food regulation
  • Glycaemic index
  • Food Regulation
  • Glycaemic Index
  • Food Labels


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