Rice is a staple food item in Asian meals and the main source of carbohydrates. As obesity continues to rise in the West, and we understand the primary role of simple carbohydrates as its main culprit, a question is why isn’t there appear to be a similar obesity problem in Asia where rice is consumed so much? First of all, even though Asians do eat a lot of rice, they also eat proportionally more healthier food items such as beans and vegetables. Second, there actually is an epidemic of obesity in Asia. Lifestyle also contributes to this growing problem. As Asian economies develop much like the West, Asians are becoming much less active and consuming more unhealthy snacks and processed food creating a rise in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Statistics from India and China clearly confirm this. A third of children in China are currently overweight. What is different about the Asian body is that diabetes can develop with only slight weight gain as opposed to Caucasians and African Americans. Some anthropologists believe that because of the long history of famine in Asia going back centuries, the Asian body cannot handle being overweight. In addition to increasing physical activity and cutting down on unhealthy snacks, my recommendation to Asians is to switch out white rice completely to brown rice. Like anything, a drastic change maybe difficult. So I recommend starting with 50/50 mix of white/brown rice and gradually increasing the proportion of brown rice.