Rice is associated with lower obesity rates, Study Suggests

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Rice is associated with lower obesity rates, Study Suggests
Rice is associated with lower obesity rates, Study Suggests

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311,637
Confirmed
8,454
Deaths
14,825
Recovered

Eating rice may help prevent obesity, research suggests.

Experts found that people following a Japanese or Asian-style diet based on rice were less likely to be obese than those living in countries where rice consumption was low.

Researchers said low-carbohydrate diets – which limit rice – are a popular weight-loss strategy in developed countries but the effect of rice on obesity has been unclear.

They looked at rice consumption in terms of grams per day per person and calorie intake in 136 countries.

Coronavirus live updates:
Country Confirmed Deaths Recovered
USA 311,637 8,454 14,825
Spain 126,168 11,947 34,219
Italy 124,632 15,362 20,996
Germany 96,092 1,444 26,400
France 89,953 7,560 15,438
Iran 55,743 3,452 19,736
UK 41,903 4,313 135
Turkey 23,934 501 786
Switzerland 20,505 666 6,415
Belgium 18,431 1,283 3,247
Netherlands 16,627 1,651 250
Canada 14,018 233 2,603
Austria 11,781 186 2,507
Portugal 10,524 266 75
Brazil 10,360 445 127
S. Korea 10,237 183 6,463
Israel 8,018 46 477
Sweden 6,443 373 205
Australia 5,635 34 585
Norway 5,550 62 32
Russia 4,731 43 333
Ireland 4,604 137 25
Czechia 4,472 59 78
Chile 4,161 27 528
Denmark 4,077 161 1,283
Poland 3,627 79 116
Romania 3,613 146 329
India 3,588 99 229
Malaysia 3,483 57 915
Ecuador 3,465 172 100
Japan 3,139 77 514
Philippines 3,094 144 57
Pakistan 2,880 45 170
Luxembourg 2,729 31 500
Saudi Arabia 2,370 29 420
Thailand 2,169 23 674
Indonesia 2,092 191 150
Mexico 1,890 79 633
Finland 1,882 25 300
Panama 1,801 46 13
Peru 1,746 73 914
Greece 1,673 68 78
Serbia 1,624 44 54
South Africa 1,585 9 95
Dominican Republic 1,578 77 17
UAE 1,505 10 125
Argentina 1,451 43 279
Iceland 1,417 4 396
Colombia 1,406 32 85
Qatar 1,325 3 109
Algeria 1,251 130 90
Ukraine 1,225 32 25
Singapore 1,189 6 297
Croatia 1,126 12 119
Egypt 1,070 71 241
Estonia 1,039 13 59
New Zealand 1,039 1 156
Slovenia 977 22 79
Morocco 919 59 66
Iraq 878 56 259
Hong Kong 862 4 173
Lithuania 811 11 7
Armenia 770 7 43
Moldova, Republic of 752 12 29
Hungary 733 34 66
Diamond Princess 712 11 619
Bahrain 688 4 423
Bosnia 624 21 30
Cameroon 555 9 17
Tunisia 553 18 5
Kazakhstan 551 5 36
Bulgaria 522 18 37
Azerbaijan 521 5 32
Lebanon 520 17 54
Latvia 509 1 1
Macedonia 483 17 20
Kuwait 479 1 93
Slovakia 471 1 10
Andorra 466 17 21
Belarus 440 5 53
Costa Rica 435 2 13
Cyprus 426 9 33
Uruguay 400 5 93
Taiwan 355 5 50
Afghanistan 337 7 15
Réunion 334 0 40
Albania 333 20 99
Jordan 323 5 74
Burkina Faso 318 16 66
Uzbekistan 298 2 25
Cuba 288 6 15
Oman 277 2 61
Honduras 268 22 6
Channel Islands 262 5 13
San Marino 259 32 27
Côte d'Ivoire 245 1 25
Vietnam 240 0 90
Senegal 219 2 72
Palestinian Territory, Occupied 217 1 21
Ghana 214 5 31
Nigeria 214 4 25
Malta 213 0 2
Montenegro 201 2 1
Mauritius 196 7 7
Faroe Islands 181 0 93
Sri Lanka 166 5 27
Georgia 162 1 36
Bolivia 157 10 2
Venezuela 155 7 52
DRC 154 18 3
Kyrgyzstan 147 1 9
Martinique 145 3 27
Niger 144 8 0
Brunei 135 1 66
Guadeloupe 134 7 24
Mayotte 134 2 14
Kenya 126 4 4
Isle of Man 126 1 0
Cambodia 114 0 50
Guinea 111 0 5
Paraguay 104 3 12
Trinidad and Tobago 103 6 1
Rwanda 102 0 0
Gibraltar 98 0 52
Liechtenstein 77 1 0
Bangladesh 70 8 30
Madagascar 70 0 0
Monaco 66 1 3
Aruba 64 0 1
El Salvador 62 3 2
Guatemala 61 2 15
French Guiana 61 0 22
Jamaica 55 3 7
Barbados 52 0 0
Djibouti 50 0 8
Uganda 48 0 0
Macao 44 0 10
Mali 41 3 1
Togo 41 3 17
French Polynesia 40 0 0
Zambia 39 1 2
Ethiopia 38 0 4
Bermuda 37 0 14
Cayman Islands 35 1 1
Saint Martin 29 2 7
Eritrea 29 0 0
Bahamas 28 4 0
Sint Maarten 25 4 6
Guyana 24 4 0
Congo 22 2 2
Gabon 21 1 1
Myanmar 21 1 0
Haiti 21 0 1
Tanzania, United Republic of 20 1 3
Maldives 19 0 13
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 18 1 0
Guinea-Bissau 18 0 0
New Caledonia 17 0 1
Syrian Arab Republic 16 2 2
Benin 16 0 2
Equatorial Guinea 16 0 1
Antigua and Barbuda 15 0 0
Dominica 14 0 0
Mongolia 14 0 2
Namibia 14 0 3
Saint Lucia 14 0 1
Fiji 12 0 0
Grenada 12 0 0
Curaçao 11 1 5
Greenland 11 0 3
Angola 10 2 2
Sudan 10 2 2
Liberia 10 1 3
Suriname 10 1 0
Lao People's Democratic Republic 10 0 0
Mozambique 10 0 1
Seychelles 10 0 0
MS Zaandam 9 2 0
Zimbabwe 9 1 0
Nepal 9 0 1
Chad 9 0 0
Saint Kitts and Nevis 9 0 0
Swaziland 9 0 0
Central African Republic 8 0 0
Cabo Verde 7 1 0
Holy See (Vatican City State) 7 0 0
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7 0 1
Somalia 7 0 1
Mauritania 6 1 2
Montserrat 6 0 0
St. Barth 6 0 1
Nicaragua 5 1 0
Bhutan 5 0 2
Turks and Caicos Islands 5 0 0
Botswana 4 1 0
Gambia 4 1 2
Belize 4 0 0
Malawi 4 0 0
Sierra Leone 4 0 0
Western Sahara 4 0 0
Anguilla 3 0 0
British Virgin Islands 3 0 0
Burundi 3 0 0
Caribbean Netherlands 2 0 0
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) 1 0 0
Papua New Guinea 1 0 0
Timor-Leste 1 0 0
China 81,669 3,329 76,964

They also looked at data on body mass index (BMI).

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In the UK, people were found to consume just 19g of rice a day, below dozens of other countries including Canada, Spain and the US.

The researchers calculated that even a modest increase in rice consumption of 50g per day per person could reduce the worldwide prevalence of obesity by 1% (from 650 million adults to 643.5 million).

Professor Tomoko Imai, from Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, Kyoto, Japan, who led the research, said: “The observed associations suggest that the obesity rate is low in countries that eat rice as a staple food.

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“Therefore, a Japanese food or an Asian-food-style diet based on rice may help prevent obesity.

“Given the rising levels of obesity worldwide, eating more rice should be recommended to protect against obesity even in western countries.”

Giving possible reasons why rice can help, Prof Imai said rice was low fat, adding: “It’s possible that the fibre, nutrients and plant compounds found in whole grains may increase feelings of fullness and prevent overeating.”

The authors concluded: “The prevalence of obesity was significantly lower in the countries with higher rice supply even after controlling for lifestyle and socioeconomic indicators.”

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Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: “We have known for centuries that far eastern populations tend to be slimmer than in the west because rice is a staple food, but few obesity specialists may have appreciated why.

“This novel research is the first to hypothesise that we could nail obesity by eating a modest amount more.”

The study was presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow.

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