Eating white rice increases risk of type 2 diabetes

Higher consumption of white rice significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the journal BMJ.

Researchers found that each serving per day of write rice consumption increases the risk of developing diabetes by 11 percent in the overall population.

The risk is especially high among Asians of Chinese and Japanese descent, who consume white rice as a staple product and have a much higher white rice intake than other populations.

Researchers found that Asians had a 15.5 percent increased risk of developing diabetes compared to 11.2 percent risk in Western populations.

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School reached their conclusions after analyzing four previous studies. Two of the studies were done in China and Japan and the other two studies in the United States and Australia.

For purposes of the study, one serving was equivalent to 158 grams of cooked rice. Levels of white rice servings varied greatly depending on the population.

Participants ate an average of four servings a day in the Chinese study. In the American and Australian study, participants ate less than five servings a week.

Among the more than 350,000 participants, 13,284 developed diabetes within 4 to 22 years.

Glycaemic load
The research paper cites other recent studies that found an association between dietary glycaemic load and risk of diabetes. In these studies, high dietary glycaemic load is consistently associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

White rice is the predominant contributor to dietary glycaemic load for Asian populations. The study found that white rice accounted for 73.9 percent of dietary glycaemic load in women living in Shanghai, China and 58.5 percent of dietary glycaemic load among women living in Japan.

White rice is a hulled, milled and polished product. It consists primary of starch and has generally higher glycaemic index values than whole grains.

The study cites a mean glycaemic index value of 64 for white rice, 55 for brown rice, 41 for whole wheat, and 25 for barley.

Source: BMJ

photo by Zane80

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