Effects of Brown Rice on Obesity: GENKI Study I (Cross Sectional Epidemiological Study)

Figure 1
Shaw Watanabe, Shoichi Mizuno and Azusa Hirakawa


Purpose: Current epidemiological data are inconclusive about the effects of traditional brown rice on obesity. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the people’s preferences for brown rice in their diet and obesity, by conducting a questionnaire survey focused on brown rice and natural foodstuffs.
Method: A cross sectional study was performed through an individual questionnaire administered to 1100 participants. Their staple food preferences included: polished white rice in 330, partially milled rice in 117, germinated rice in 12, brown rice in 406, Jurokkoku rice in 10, and 205 mixed brown rice and others. Baseline and outcome variables were principally chosen to address the following categories: BMI, dietary habits, lifestyle, and living conditions.
Result: Among all participants (Males = 339, Females = 741), average BMI was 22.3 ± 3.2 in males and 20.7 ± 2.8 kg/m2 in females. Current consumers of brown rice had a significantly lower BMI than all other categories aggregated (BMI brown rice = 20.6 ± 2.0, BMI white rice = 22.3 ± 3.3; p < 0.000). They reduced body weight 9 kg in males and 6 kg in females from the maximal body weight in middle age. Brown rice eaters preferred to eat Japanese foods and traditional vegetables, avoiding meat, dairy products and western foods. They disliked oily and spicy taste, and their optimal food attributes were fresh, organic, no additives, without genetically-modified foodstuff and locally-produced. Brown rice eaters had bowel movements once or twice a day, and their stools had the shape of a banana. Dietary habits contributed to their healthy feeling in conjunction with other life attitudes.
Conclusion: The brown rice diet seemed to improve or prevent obesity compared with a polished white rice eating. The good bowel movement and the stool figure suggested a good intestinal environment which led to avoid obesity and kept health. Dietary habits with brown rice, rich vegetables, avoiding meat, should support the healthy life.

Published on: April 20, 2018
doi: 10.17756/jocd.2018-013
Citation: Watanabe S, Mizuno S, Hirakawa A. 2018. Effects of Brown Rice on Obesity: GENKI Study I (Cross Sectional Epidemiological Study). J Obes Chronic Dis 2(1): 12-19.