Eating excessive amounts of white rice raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a large scale new study.
A U.S led review looked at four studies involving 350,000 people. Two of the studies were from China and Japan, and the other two were from the U.S and Australia.
Eating large quantities of white rice can increase your chance of developing diabetes
The results, published in the British Medical Journal, showed that Asian people tended to have a much higher intake of white rice than those in the West and a much greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Asian people in the study averaged three to four 158g servings of rice a day, compared to one or two servings a week in the West.
After taking into account factors such as weight, exercise levels and the diet of volunteers, the researchers found that those who ate the most white rice were at the highest risk of developing diabetes.
Researcher Dr Qi Sun, of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, said: ‘Each serving increment per day in white rice intake was associated with a small, yet significantly higher diabetes risk.’
During follow-up research, ranging from four to 22 years, around 13,200 people developed diabetes.
The link between white rice and diabetes could be explained by the effect of white rice on blood sugar levels. White rice is high on the Glycaemic Index, which measures how quickly glucose is released into the bloodstream after eating. Diabetes is a chronic condition caused by too much glucose in the blood.
Diabetes affects around 2.8million people in the UK, and around 90% of adults in the UK with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. However, dieticians claim that the risk is unlikely to be transferred to the West because of the low consumption of rice.
Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK, said the review did not provide conclusive results.
Because diabetes is considered a chronic condition, it is unlikely to be covered by private medical insurance. To find out what other conditions you could be covered for, compare health insurance policies online now.
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