White rice consumption could accelerate diabetes risk

BOSTON — A new study has indicated that the consumption of white rice can increase one's risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Published in BMJ, Qi Sun, an instructor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and fellow researchers analyzed results from four previous studies — conducted in Australia, China, Japan and the United States — with follow-up periods ranging from 4 to 22 years. Among a total of 352,384 participants, nearly 3.8% (or 13 ,284) cases of Type 2 diabetes were recorded. What's more, the study authors said, Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations had much higher white rice consumption levels than did Western populations (average intake levels were three to four servings/day versus one to two servings/week). Overall, they found, was that each serving per day of white rice consumption was associated with an 11% increase in risk of diabetes in the overall population, and that a higher consumption of white rice was associated with a significantly increased risk of Type 2 diabetes among Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations.

"Although rice has been a staple food in Asian populations for thousands of years, this transition may render Asian populations more susceptible to the adverse effects of high intakes of white rice, as well as other sources of refined carbohydrates, such as pastries, white bread, and sugar sweetened beverages," the authors concluded. "In addition, the dose-response relations indicate that even for Western populations with typically low intake levels, relatively high white rice consumption may still modestly increase risk of diabetes."

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