Diabetes expert: Rice is obese Malaysia's most dangerous junk food

By Rei Rengsen Siew Lin

- Last updated on GMT

Diabetes expert: Rice is obese Malaysia's most dangerous junk food

Related tags Nutrition

The causes behind the rise in obesity and diabetes in Asia’s most overweight country, Malaysia, are very different to those in the Western world, according to one of the Southeast Asian country’s leading endocrinologists.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia after figures released earlier this month​showed that almost half of Malaysians were obese, Professor Nor Azmi Kamaruddin, president of the Malaysian Endocrine and Metabolic Society, said the nation’s love of rice was fuelling its growing health problems—not the junk food the West blames for its own epidemic.

Blame rice

If you look at the fast food culture in the United States, you notice that obesity is increasing there; but somehow, their diabetes rate is not as high as ours​. 

So we believe that the reason we have a higher diabetes rate is because of our traditional Malaysian diet that consists of rice and rice-related products​,” Nor said.  

His theory is backed up by several recent studies, including one conducted in 2012 by Harvard researchers that found that a regular second daily serving of white rice could increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 10%.

The study also revealed that those who ate the highest amounts of white rice had a 27% higher risk of diabetes than those who ate it in moderation, with the risk most pronounced in Asia, where rice is the main staple. 

“When you take rice, your blood sugar goes up the same level as if you were taking sugar,” ​said Nor Azmi, referring to the similar glycaemic index (GI) levels both foods produce. The similarities are so great that Japan has adopted rice as its standard GI marker, rather than sugar.

Real alternatives?

But rice is not the only culprit for Malaysia’s growing obesity and diabetes rates and, like the West, the country has also been seeing a growing trend towards personal inactivity.

This has to do with rapid industrialisation​,” said Nor. “When we moved on to being a developed society, we spend our time in offices, we hardly exercise. So whatever energy that we take in is easily stored​.”

To counter the combined risk of sedentary lifestyles and the overconsumption of traditional rice, Nor urged consumers to adopt a low-GI diet that involves food such as the low-carb rice, which has been developed in India by diabetologist V Mohan. 

Last week, Mohan announced that his team is developing low-carb noodles and other foods, which is something food-loving Malaysians will no doubt look forward to. 

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Seems No one REALLY knows the cause of Diabetes

Posted by J'Marinde Shephard,

After reading this, it seems VERY clear to me (a type 2 Diabetic) that no one has a clue to the cause or management of Diabetes. Everyday there are warning about this food or that if one is Diabetic and it all seems now to just be sensationalistic speculation which is NOT AT ALL helpful and only spreads misinformation that may ultimately be harmful To me, it seems more and more that just-plain eating and breathing is the REAL cause. Now, what's to be done about that? Maybe it's more about metabolism than diet.

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Rice is obese Malaysia

Posted by kbn rayana,

Rice alone eat causes risk for increase of blood pressure and Diabetics. However Rice to be used with vegetable curries and or mix and combination of vegetables and Lentels use will strengthen the best diet in the world. This is impacting in a rich and wealthy society because of useing much white rice and non supportive adequate vegetables, and combination of different alcohal drinks.

As of now Rice is safe food and if eaten it did not cause any problem and even as a cold food can be consumed when presrved in a good vessel and or pot vessets along with salt water enriches and good for health. Rice is one of the product produce Rice liquor if fermented properly and it is a good healthy drink like as drink from coconusts, tody plants, and some of the drink from the dates.

Japan use a highest drink as saaky a rice drink in japan a most popular consumed drink , any where did not reported any such problem so far, since it consumes mostely with veg and non veg mix and sushi.

Hence Malaysia`s addressing problem more with white rice and inadequate of ingrediants like veg and non veg. That to be improved to make balanced food.

Junk food to be cut downed as much as possible in any pattern which causes to obesity.

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