The aim of this study was to describe dietary glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) values in the diets of Danish children, and to examine the associations between dietary GI, GL and body fatness. Data were collected during 1997–8 as part of the European Youth Heart Study. The study population comprised 485 children aged 10 years and 364 children aged 16 years from Odense County, Denmark. Dietary GI and GL were estimated using international food tables, and the associations between energy-adjusted dietary GI, GL and body fatness were analysed by multiple linear regression. The mean daily dietary GI value was 85 (SD 6·9) with a range of 62–111. No significant differences were found between age groups and gender. The daily dietary GL was higher among boys aged 16, with a GL of 330 (sd 95) (P<0·05), compared with girls or younger boys. Dietary GL was higher among 10-year-old boys than girls (250 (sd 81) v. 230 (sd 66) P<0·05), whereas dietary GL among 16-year-old girls was 230 (sd 56). Neither dietary GI nor GL was associated with the sum of four skinfolds (ΣSF) among girls or among 10-year-old boys. Among 16-year-old boys, significant associations were observed between dietary GI and ΣSF (β+0·60, SE+0·21, P=0·006), and between dietary GL and ΣSF (β+0·15, SE+0.06, P=0·009). In conclusion, dietary GI and GL were positively associated with body fatness among Danish boys aged 16 years, whereas no associations were found among girls or younger boys.