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Diet Quality and Markers for Human Health in Rice Eaters Versus Non-Rice Eaters: An Analysis of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004

Fulgoni, Victor L. III PhD; Fulgoni, Sally A. BS; Upton, Julie L. MS, RD; Moon, Maggie MS, RD

doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e3181fd4f29
Food and Nutrition Science

Evidence from the most recent (1999-2004) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey provides new information on the relationship between rice consumption and food group/nutrient intake and certain health parameters in children and adults. Of 25 374 eligible participants, 5213 were identified as rice consumers using guidelines established in previous research. Health parameters of interest included body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), blood lipids (total, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides), C-reactive protein, and others. Analyses were conducted to determine if rice consumers had lower odds ratio (ie, risk) of being overweight; being obese; having metabolic syndrome, elevated blood lipids, and elevated blood pressure; and other related parameters. Main results (P < .05) show an association between eating at least 1 daily serving of rice (white or brown) and better health and diet parameters including less total fat, saturated fat, and added sugars; higher amounts of more than 12 essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, folate, and other B vitamins; more fruit and legumes; nearly 4 tsp (16 g) less added sugar; and 7 g less solid fats. For the 19- to 50-year-old subgroup, main results (P < .05) also showed rice consumption associated with reduced likelihood of being overweight or obese, 34% reduced risk of high blood pressure, 27% reduced likelihood of having an increased waist circumference, and 21% reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. Compared with non-rice eaters, rice eaters are less likely to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome; they are more likely to have an overall better diet quality

Some interesting associations between rice and diet quality in a population-based survey

Victor L. Fulgoni III, PhD, is currently senior vice president of Nutrition Impact, LLC, Battle Creek, Michigan. Nutrition Impact is a consulting firm that helps food companies and commodity boards develop and communicate science-based nutrition information about products.

Sally A. Fulgoni, BS, Nutrition Impact LLC, Battle Creek, Michigan.

Julie L. Upton, MS, RD, USA Rice Federation, Arlington, Virginia. She is a registered dietitian and communications expert specializing in nutrition, fitness, and health. As a media resource for the American Dietetic Association, she is interviewed and quoted in more than 200 articles annually and is a frequent guest on national and local television and radio stations. Ms Upton has written and published hundreds of articles in professional and consumer publications. Her articles cover nutrition, fitness, and health, as well as active travel and professional athlete profiles. Ms Upton is a competitive swimmer, cyclist, marathon runner, and triathlete. She received a bachelor of science degree in nutrition from Michigan State University, completed her dietetic internship at Harvard Medical School, and holds a master of science degree in nutrition communications from Boston University. She is currently studying for her doctorate degree in Nutrition Communications at Columbia University in New York.

Maggie Moon, MS, RD, USA Rice Federation, Arlington, Virginia. She is a NYC-based nutrition science writer and consultant dietititian.

Correspondence: Julie L. Upton, MS, RD, 1823 Centro W, Tiburon, CA 94920 (

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.