Health researchers said on Thursday they had found a troubling link between higher consumption of rice and Type 2 diabetes, a disease that in some countries is becoming an epidemic.
Further work is need to probe the apparent association and diets that are notoriously high in sugar and fats should remain on the no-go list, they cautioned.
"What we've found is white rice is likely to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, especially at high consumption levels such as in Asian populations," Qi Sun of the Harvard School of Public Health told AFP.
"But at the same time people should pay close attention to the other things they eat.
"It's very important to address not just a single food but the whole pattern of consumption."
In the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Sun's team said the link emerged from an analysis of four previously published studies, carried out in China, Japan, Australia and the United States.