Can Eating White Rice up Risk of Diabetes?

This research indicates that the consumption of white rice is associated with a higher risk of diabetes.

2 min read
Can Eating White Rice up Risk of Diabetes?

A new study conducted over a span of 10 years and 21 countries also presents some sobering evidence related to the intake of white rice, according to a Times of India report.

This research indicates that the consumption of white rice is associated with a higher risk of diabetes. The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, found that the risk was found to be more common among South Asian populations.

The large-scale study involved an international collaboration between researchers from various nations, such as India, Brazil, Europe, Africa, US and China. The group was led by Bhavadharini Balaji of the Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University, Canada.


What Was The Study?

The study engaged 1,32,372 participants, who were aged between 35-70. Out of these, 6,129 people developed diabetes over the course of the study.

South Asian populations were found to be genetically predisposed to diabetes, due to both lifestyle and biological causes.

Findings from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan were compared to analyse this data.

The average amount of rice consumed by the sample was determined to be 128 mg. However, South Asia had an average rice consumption of 630 gms per day, followed by South East Asia and China with 238 grams and 200 grams per day respectively.

Higher consumption of rice among South Asian populations was correlated with lower consumption of other dietary elements like fibre, meat and dairy products. Carbohydrates make up almost 80 per cent of the calories consumed in many South Asian countries.

The research also determined that the risk of diabetes varies not only with the amount of rice consumed, but also their quality.

India and China are the world’s largest countries where white rice is a staple food. Even then, the study found that there was no significant association between diabetes and white rice consumption in China. This difference may be attributed to lifestyle factors, or the sticky form of rice that is consumed in China.

The researchers note, “Replacing highly polished white rice with other cereals or healthier varieties of rice or by adding adequate legumes and pulses may not only help to reduce the (glycemic index) of the meal but also, possibly, to reduce the actual quantity of white rice consumed.”

(With inputs from Times of India)

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