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Study finds white rice could increase risk of Type 2 diabetes

Regularly eating white rice can significantly increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published today in theBritish Medical Journal.

The authors from the Harvard School of Public Health analysed previous studies that looked at the association between eating white rice and risk of Type 2 diabetes. Four studies were analysed: two in Asian countries (China and Japan) and two in Western countries (USA and Australia). The participants did not have diabetes at the start of the study.

Based on their analysis, the authors claim that a high intake of white rice is associated with a significant increase risk of Type 2 diabetes, especially among Asian populations.

Risk of Type 2 diabetes is dependent on a range of factors including poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.

Inconclusive results

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said, “We already know that a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is increased by poor lifestyle choices and this is one of the reasons it is important to maintain a healthy weight through being regularly physically active and eating a healthy diet.

“This new study is a review of previous research looking at the association between white rice consumption and Type 2 diabetes, but it has not looked at whether eating lots of white rice actually increases risk of Type 2 diabetes. Previous research in this area has not provided conclusive results and it is a difficult area to conduct research because no single type of food is directly linked or associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes.

“So this study does not provide any strong evidence that eating lots of white rice will put people at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.”

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