As with most stories there is a grain of truth. If you only eat white rice in copious amounts every day it is very likely you will run into some medical problem at some point. This is because you would only be eating large volumes of starch. This would obviously be the case if you only ate one type of any food.

Over 50 % of the world?s population eat rice as their staple food, like in China or India and there is evidence that their diabetes incidence is on the rise. However, there is no proof that this is caused by eating rice daily. The Japanese eat on average 200 pounds of rice a year. Needless to add, Japan has one of the highest longevity rates in the world.

There are clearly issues here of how scientific studies can decipher between cause and effect and especially how this can be demonstrated with food studies? Food is so varied and so very clearly influenced by culture, personal preferences and other lifestyle factors. How can scientific research account for all these other factors that might contribute or protect against a disease?

In sorting these issues out I would suggest a two pronged attack. First, try to gage the strength and weaknesses of the science by reading up some reviews of the published data. Second, have a think about how the newspapers have presented the data and whether you think the story makes any common sense according to the principals below.

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