Scientists say that eating more rice can help you lose weight

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rice

Japanese scientists have turned conventional wisdom on its head by suggesting that eating more rice can help you lose weight.

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They say that eating just an extra 50g portion of rice each day could help to prevent obesity.

It has long been an observable fact that countries where people eat a lot of rice tend to have fewer overweight people. Now, following a study of 136 countries, researchers from the the Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto believe they know why.

The researchers say the fibre found in whole grains such as rice help to increase feelings of fullness and so prevent overeating.

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Professor Tomoko Imai, who led the research, said: “The observed associations suggest the obesity rate is low in countries that eat rice as a staple food.

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

He added eating more rice should be recommended, “given the rising levels of obesity worldwide”.

The report concluded: “The prevalence of obesity was significantly lower in the countries with higher rice supply.”

It said that the findings remained true even after taking into acount lifestyle and socioeconomic indicators.

The researchers calculated that even a modest increase in consumption could reduce the worldwide prevalence of obesity.

They said if everyone ate an extra 50g each day the number of obese adults would drop from 650million to 643.5million.

Bangladesh consumes the most rice, the research showed, with people eating an average of 473g per day. It was followed by Lao (443g), Cambodia (438g), Vietnam (398g), Indonesia (361g) and the Philippines (317.68g).

At the other end of the spectrum was Tunisia, where people eat an average of only 2.59g per day.

The study was presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow yesterday (Tuesday, April 30).

The 20 biggest rice consumers:

1 Bangladesh 473.4

2 Lao People’s Democratic Republic 442.77

3 Cambodia 437.94

4 Viet Nam 398.36

5 Indonesia 361.04

6 Philippines 317.68

7 Thailand 312.32

8 Sri Lanka 306.22

9 Madagascar 285.52

10 Sierra Leone 269.98

11 Guinea 265.07

12 Guinea-Bissau 251.27

13 Liberia 241.47

14 Nepal 239.43

15 Republic of Korea 229.32

16 Malaysia 219.96

17 China 212.46

18 India 197.54

19 Senegal 192.19

20 Gambia 190.7

… and the 20 least:

116 Zambia 8.9

117 Belarus 8.66

118 Germany 8.03

119 Ukraine 7.99

120 Algeria 7.56

121 Estonia 7.17

122 Netherlands 7.13

123 Hungary 7.03

124 Romania 6.69

125 Croatia 6.58

126 Namibia 6.38

127 Georgia 6.31

128 Latvia 6.05

129 Azerbaijan 5.51

130 Bosnia and Herzegovina 5.03

131 Bulgaria 4.54

132 Morocco 3.65

133 Serbia 3.58

134 Ethiopia 3.32

135 Poland 2.6

136 Tunisia 2.59

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