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  1. Fulgoni, Victor L. III PhD
  2. Fulgoni, Sally A. BS
  3. Upton, Julie L. MS, RD
  4. Moon, Maggie MS, RD


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