The Carbohydrate Insulin Model of Obesity


  • A perspective paper has just been published on the subject of the carbohydrate insulin model (CIM) of obesity.
  • The traditional model of obesity is the energy balance model – obesity is the result of too much energy in and not enough energy expended.
  • The CIM, in contrast, presents the cause of obesity as driven by hormonal responses to a high-carbohydrate diet.
  • The paper summarised eight “predictions and testable hypotheses arising from the CIM." Together they captured the stages of physical response to carbohydrate intake – insulin, insulin resistance, fat storage and food cravings.
  • The authors then presented common criticisms of the CIM and offered counters to these.
  • The paper provided an excellent summary of the CIM and our thinking about obesity generally.
  • The closing passages were very constructive – suggesting that more discussion about causes of obesity is needed and that the research arena should embrace different approaches, as ‘eat less do more’ just isn't working.

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