Senator Cynthia Villar is correct: Eating too much rice is bad for the health

Philippine Senator Cynthia Villar drew some flak for suggesting that Filipinos limit their rice consumption. She thinks banning “unlimited rice” (or “unli-rice”) offerings in restaurants would be a good start. It was a preposterous idea, some say. “Who is she to tell us how much rice we eat?”, others asked in disgust. Then there were those who even pointed out the Villars’ (the family is a well-known property developer) – own voracious appetite for turning agricultural land into subdivisions or housing projects. As usual, instead of tackling the issue head-on, some would rather rebut with a totally unrelated topic to what she was trying to point out.

Yes, in the eyes of many Filipinos, Villar committed sacrilege. After all, Filipinos, being Asians, have always eaten rice, view it as a staple in their meals, and would continue to do so despite strong evidence that overconsumption of the grain can lead to a lot of health problems. Villar pointed this out during a Senate session:

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“You know, the findings in other countries, mas better ang diet nila. Hindi masyadong maraming rice, may vegetable. If you really ask doctors, that’s a better diet,” Villar said after a hearing on rice importation and related issues.

“So dapat i-train na rin nating mga Filipinos not to eat too much rice kasi nagiging diabetic. And you know, it’s expensive to cure diabetes. Parang sinasabi sa ibang bansa kaya hindi sila nagiging self-sufficient, because they have a better diet. So makakatulong iyon, iyong sinasabi nilang unlimited rice, hindi maganda iyon sa diet natin,” she added.

A lot of poor Filipinos eat large amounts of cooked rice with little meat or protein on the side. They are unaware of what eating too much carbohydrates, which is what rice is, does to their bodies. They think that having a tummy full of rice is better than an empty tummy.

To be fair to Villar, she was actually trying to raise a problem that most Filipinos are unaware of or have been ignoring for decades. First of all, the country’s rice production will not meet the country’s demand. Villar doesn’t share the view that the Philippines will be rice sufficient by 2018 despite Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol’s earlier statement that he aimed to end by 2018 the country’s need to import rice. We recall that former President BS Aquino also promised that the Philippines would not be importing rice by 2013. That did not happen at all.

This year alone, projected consumption will far surpass projected domestic rice production:

Iyon ang projection (2018) ni Secretary Piñol, kung makukuha niya. Kasi ang importation depends on production. If the production can meet the consumption, then no importation. Marami nang nag-project nang ganoon, hindi naman natupad,” she said.

The senator based her position on the Agriculture department’s report on rice production.

For 2017, the projected rice production is at 12 million metric tons against the overall projected consumption of 12.1 million metric tons of rice in the country.

The amount is aside from the 625,000 metric tons of rice that would serve as buffer stock for 15 days, Villar said.

Since the country’s population keeps growing at a steady pace, these projections will likely be wrong especially since most Filipinos love eating the grain too much. It is high time for Filipinos to look at alternatives to rice. There are other healthier options like potatoes anyway. It’s just a matter of reconditioning our minds to think that rice is not the only thing we can eat with our main meals.

Sen. Cynthia Villar: Slammed by netizens for pointing out health risks associated with excessive rice consumption

Filipinos should not dismiss science. It is a fact that too much rice can lead to health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes. If they are worried about dying from hunger, well they will die of diseases instead if they don’t control their rice consumption.

I can speak from experience. I used to eat large amounts of rice as well. I thought it was harmless since it has no sugar and no cholesterol. About a year ago, I probably indulged too much and gained excess weight. I could not get rid of it even when I was regularly going to body attack classes at the gym. I suppose you can say I was in denial until one day I accepted that it was my diet that was the culprit. I tried cutting down on eating rice and carbohydrates in general and saw the results in just one week. I was relieved to find out that just reducing rice intake could solve a lot of issues. I have become an advocate of responsible rice consumption. So I support Villar’s push to reduce rice consumption in the country.

Rice readily converts to sugar during digestion – which is why it is addictive, fattening and puts one at risk of diabetes. Another problem with rice is that it only makes you feel full for a short time. In just a few hours, you will feel hungry again. Then you will end up eating snacks in between meals, which can contribute to weight gain.

Eating more protein will make us feel fuller for a longer period of time. Protein also give us the energy we need throughout the day. Now, eating the right amount of protein may not be an option for a lot of poor people in the Philippines, but it doesn’t mean legislators like Villar should stop educating the public about health hazards of eating too much rice. It doesn’t mean her critics are justified in vilifying her.

Some argue that individuals should decide for themselves and there is no need to legislate limiting of rice consumption. They have a point, but we all know that some people who are not properly informed nor educated will not have the right mental tools to decide what is best for their health and well-being. Besides, health problems will also ultimately become the government’s problem specially if demand for hospital beds outstrip supply. So perhaps what our legislators can do in the meantime is to promote guidelines on healthy living for Filipinos.

Filipinos should be open to new ideas. We cannot keep doing something just because we have been doing it since forever. If an issue like rice consumption is already causing a lot of problems in Philippine society, we should not be afraid to talk about it so we can find alternative ways to eat and survive.

38 Replies to “Senator Cynthia Villar is correct: Eating too much rice is bad for the health”

  1. Ilda, kaibigan ko, I definitely support more advocacy groups and education which can facilitate a healthful diet or lifestyle. However that is where I think government’s role ends.

    If more of our kababayans would simply utilize the modern technology to be informed, then such health hazards can be avoided. Sa kasamaang-palad, they often utilize it for entertainment, sa halip ng mahalagang impormasyon.

    Even dietary knowledge is insufficient. A holistic approach is ideal, which includes exercise, relationships, lifestyle, and stress management.

    Our kababayans also need to have the desire and determination, which is manifested sa aksyon. Hindi sapat ang impormasyon lamang dahil mahalaga ang aksyon din. Even if our kababayans have the knowledge, they may be mentally or morally slothful and choose not to do what they know is best for themselves, for which they should fully accept the consequences.

    Para sa akin, mahalaga ang freedom, and government must protect that freedom, not restrict it. Kaya nga, kaibigan ko, I oppose Villar’s proposed legislation to restrict rice consumption, kahit gusto ko ng educational measures.

    Nga pala, anong “body attack” classes?

  2. What triggers diabetes is the high GI (glycemic index) of certain foods. White rice is one of these culprits. When eating, it is not about each food in a meal; it is about the whole meal itself. So, eating only rice in contrast to having sides on it makes a lot of difference. Filipinos are eating too much white rice, with hardly protein, fiber from vegetables, or fat added, incidentally raising their blood sugar.

    As a side note. Trying brown rice as alternative to white rice may be a good idea, as brown rice is healthier. It has more fiber and more protein and just more nutrients overall. It is whole grain. White rice on the other hand is stripped of its natural nutritional value. Brown rice, though, is quite more expensive. Adding fat and protein to a meal of brown rice will further reduce the glycemic index or speed of digestion of the entire meal.

  3. On June 2017, Cynthia Villar, a senator of the Republic of the Philippines suggested the banning of “unli-rice” promos among restaurants, citing bogus “scientific researches from other countries” as reference to conclude that unlimited rice offering in restaurants can cause diabetes. She also stated that the unli-rice promo leads to food wastage and rampantly claimed that banning the promo can help solve the problem of lingering food shortage in the country.

    This, naturally, received various criticism amongst netizens. While most of the critics and agitated food lovers targeted the senator’s business as contributive to the food shortage problem (having owned Camella, a company that allegedly converts agricultural lands into housing projects), the rest of the true problems of Villar’s suggestions were left unexplored amidst the brouhaha and meme warfare on social media.

    The first problem in banning unli-rice is the claim that overconsumption of rice causes diabetes. As of this article’s writing, this claim is not yet a hard science, which means it is only compounded by suggestions and speculations. Some researches showed that it is only white rice that contributes to the contraction of diabetes. White rice is the major grain cultivated and consumed in the Philippines. However, legislating the banning of unli-rice is a myopic approach if the senator’s prime aim is to fight diabetes.

    1. Banning unli-rice promo in restaurants doesn’t guarantee that Filipinos will no longer consume excessive amounts of rice in their homes or anywhere else. While it has been stated that overconsumption of white rice may lead to diabetes, the senator only used this fact to defend her foremost argument that is the banning unli-rice. If she wishes to prevent the overconsumption of white rice, she must instead suggest and pass a bill that directly addressss the overconsumption and overproduction of the food product.

    * Promote the agricultural production of healthier rice grains like black and brown rice.

    * Promote the preparation of mixed variations of rice (proven healthy by nutritionists.)

    2. Since other variations of rice can be cultivated in the Philippines, restaurants offering unli-rice promos can opt to providing unlimited offering of non-white rice or a mixture of white rice and other variations.

    3. Overconsumption of just about any food and beverage can cause diabetes, and just about what the senator can say about buffets? Mang Inasal did not actually pioneered the “unli-rice” promo since it is only a simplified version of buffet that offers only a single type of food: white rice. Typical buffets offers all kinds of unhealthy stuffs that will all lead to diabetes in the long run. The number of people that eats in buffets is relatively small compared to the customers of Mang Inasal, but again, if her prime aim is to fight diabetes, she must cover all restuarant services that contributes to it with zero exceptions. On her statement though, she completely crossed out other foods that causes diabetes and put rice (not even specifying white rice, just rice, which is technically wrong since other rice grains don’t lead to diabetes) as the main culprit in contracting diabetes. Bummer.

    4. The overconsumption of white rice is not the primary reason for contracting diabetes.

    To expand the final item in the list, let us first review what diabetes is.
    Diabetes, in layman’s understandable language, is a disease that results from the lack or insufficient amount of insulin in the body (Type 1), and the repulsion of isulin in the body (Type 2). A temporary diabetes can also be acquired by pregnant women (Type 3).

    It is also characterized by an excessive amount of blood sugar (glucose) and is diagnosed on that.

    But the important thing that everyone should keep in mind is that the real cause of diabetes is not yet truly understood, which leads to the varying explanations among medical scientists and researchers. These include:

    1. Genetic acquisition — A large amount of patients diagnosed with diabetes are known to have acquired the disease from their diabetic parents.

    2. Viruses — Researches shows that several viral infections can cause diabetes both directly and indirectly. Since diabetes can easily happen whenever there is an excessive amount of blood sugar or insufficient amount of insulin in the body, diseases caused by viruses that can hinder the production and use of insulin by internal organs, or the breaking down blood sugar properly, can always lead into diabetes.

    3. Unhealthy diet and lifestyle — It is important to note that the type of food that people it is just one of the factors that tells between a person with diabetes and a person without. Now, this all boils down to what is the very definition of “overconsumption.”

    The overconsumption a certain type of food is relative to the nutritious requirements of a person which varies among individuals based on their age, their job, their gender, and their existing medical conditions, and that is not all. This strongly means that a person eating five cups of rice in Mang Inasal is not necessarily overconsuming rice based merely on observing that quantity. People whose job requires great physical exertion requires surplus amounts of carbohydrates for energy. People who are more physically active also have more chance in having efficient organs in breaking down sugar and using insulin. A person eating even a single cup of rice whose job requires sleep deprivation and minimal physical exertion will still suffer from an increase of sugar (this is often paired by excessive intake of sweetened coffee that magnifies the chances of contracting diabetes even further.)

    Finally, a person consuming multiple cups of rice in one meal is not overconsuming rice if they do not eat rice in their other meals. Fighting the overconsumption of rice by banning the promo of unlimited rice on restaurants which may or may not be frequented by everyone is the worst way to fight diabetes. One can’t measure overconsumption on such superficial observations. Not all customers of Mang Inasal are regular customers and based on the concept of food fatigue, a regular customer of Mang Inasal is more likely to consume a diminishing amount of rice over some time. Unlimited rice is nothing more of a marketing strategy to attract customers than to overstuff the stomach and kill their regular customers (which is bad for business.)

    4. Addiction — Addiction in the sense of health and medication covers all sorts of addiction. One of the most common addiction as mentioned above is coffee addiction which also depends on the lifestyle an job of individuals. Coffee, cigarette, and liquor all damages the liver, kidney and various other internal organs which, when malfunctioned, leads to the failure of breaking down blood sugar and producing insulin.

    Drug addiction also causes diabetes, as well as the overdosage of certain prescriptive medicines. Addiction contributes largely to Type 3 diabetes which undermines all pregnancy health practices if this is left unchecked.

    The second argument that makes the banning of unli-rice problematic is the attempt to bring out the issue of food wastage and food shortage. Cynthia Villar puts unli-rice, once again, as the top culprit in the wastage of food in the country. This explanation has been readily accepted by people who failed to recognize the contradictions of this claim.

    1. As tackled, unli-rice is only a simplified version of food buffet. If the senator wanted to target restaurant services as contributors to food shortage, why doesn’t she include banning all food buffets which equally contribute to the disposal of unconsumed food? Rice is just one of the many foods wasted on restaurants offering these kind of eat-all-you-can services.

    2. It is important to note that Cynthia Villar tackled that rice can lead to diabetes, yet she resorted to the issue of food shortage, which implies that she still wanted to feed the underfed Filipinos with… the oh-so-unhealthy rice. Hmmm? If there is a shortage of the unhealthy white rice, then isn’t the right solution promoting the production and consumption of healthier alternatives instead of perpetuating its consumption to more Filipinos?

    The counterquestion would then be, how feasible this solution would be?
    Food shortage in the Philippines is ultimately caused by the overall problem of mismanaging agricultural resources, the mammoth in the room. The “technology” of agriculture in the Philippines is in par with the traditional agricultural technology of Ancient Egyptians thousands of years earlier. Attempts to modernize the farms is hindered by the lack of contingency plans for disaster, mistreatment of the farmers and depriving their rights and benefits, lack of resources, privatization of fields and conversion of the areas for commercial purposes as already been tackled by agitated netizens.

    That is just to name a few of the problems in the agricultural aspect of the country that is left unresolved throughout the decades. Now, how does banning unli-rice solve food shortage? Unli-rice offerings is a relatively recent invention while food shortage has been a problem in the country for a very long time, being reduced to one of the phantom problems promised to be solved over and over and over again by all exorcisitic political candidates during every election. (This problem has led to numerous uprisings by the farmers, downplayed as a recurring theme in various classic action films.)

    3. Is food really wasted? Unconsumed rice and other food in common Filipino households are fed to their pets, poultry and livestocks. Others are used as fertilizers. Raised poultry and livestocks would then provide food sources alternative to rice. Rice also serves a good fertilizer for cultivating plants that produces fruits in a short period. Vermiculturists take advantage of unconsumed food to convert them into organic fertilizers. Cooked rice is soft enough to be consumed and decomposed by earthworms in a matter of days. Unconsumed food in restaurants are scavengered by stray animals and even vagabonds living in the streets. Otherwise, other companies who value these unconsumed foods as resources (animal food, fuel, fertilizers) enter into contracts with the restaurants to readily pick up their wastes on a daily basis.

    While there is a food shortage in the country, Filipinos have progressed enough to find ways of recycling whatever food doesn’t enter their stomachs.

    So where does banning unli-rice fit in in solving the economic and health problems of the country aside from angering the netizens? Where does banning the consumption of food fit in in a country of food-deprived citizens? Where does banning of surplus carbohydrates fit in in a nation of farmers, laborers, and men who need to sweat in their day to day living?

    Of course, Cynthia Villar’s nearsightedness on societal issues would anger many Filipino citizens. Filipinos work hard to provide food for themselves and would buy a variety of food if they can afford it. Yet, politicians and businessmen like Villar are also the reasons most Filipino couldn’t. Food prices continually increase to fulfill the need of companies for more money, and taxes imposed on food that increase twice a year doesn’t make any hungry human being happy.

    And for people cursed to be trained to eat rice regularly, it being their staple food, what makes anyone expect they’d readily embrace a suggestion banning their first and foremost impression of a meal?

    If Cynthia Villar wanted to go “scientific” with her bill proposals, her suggestion is one of the most unscientific propositions I’ve ever heard of. It’s downright lazy. It’s not even pseudoscience. It’s one of those circumstances wherein a politician becomes a physician, only if she made the diagnosis and prescription right. The senator’s suggestion is neither a proper diagnosis nor a good prescription. One should be reminded then that no politician should be trusted when tackling about health issues (unless, of course, they have a Ph.D. in medicine or other relevant fields, which is very unlikely.)

    For the very least, both “politician” and “physician” starts with “p” and ends in “ian”, and that tells something Cynthia Villar and her supporters should be very proud about. A little publicity is good for all politicians. It’s always their freedom to speak out their whims. People always need something to chew on, be it unli-rice or a half-baked idea that only deserves thorough manducation and scrutiny.

  4. Some poor families eat, rice and “tuyo”, only…this is the reason, they fill their stomachs with rice.

    There are alternatives, for carbohydrates, like : potatoes; sweet potatoes; corn ; etc… we should eat more of vegetables, fish, and meat…Noodles, like : pancit is carbohydrate , also. If we eat less, we will be lean and healthy …

  5. It’s the right information, but the wrong step was called out. It seems bans are an attempt at popular appeal, but it backfired. Banning food is best replaced by an information campaign on health and food launched by the senator herself, which she can do without using public money. Perhaps she should fund projects for alternatives to rice, similar to what GRP earlier made in a video.

  6. There are many ways to attack this rice consumption “problem.” Banning unli-rice is one of them, but I doubt this would actually have an impact because there are only a select number of establishments actually offering unli-rice. In an earlier congress, there was this bill proposing that restaurants only serve half cups of rice. I believe that this is a smarter move because Filipinos are well known rice wasters and this measure may actually affect our overall consumption.

    (Sources: 1 2)

    I’ve thought about educating people about brown rice—it is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and proteins and can also reduce cholesterol. However, it is also expensive, and this surprises me. Technically, brown rice is a “less processed” form of rice, meaning that in theory, it should be cheaper. I think the main reason for this is because it is being marketed as a “health food.” This is disheartening because I think it should be cheaper than white rice and if anything, it should be the “NFA” rice. I honestly believe that brown rice would be cheaper if marketed as a “pang-masa” food. Some drawbacks: storage is trickier and it would use more fuel and time to cook, but there are ways around that.

    1. Dick, when something doesn’t make sense (as in the case of brown rice being more expensive), it makes sense from another angle (not my personal view) . Why should being healthy be made affordable to the “lower classes”, when, as some would say, the planet is becoming unsustainably “overpopulated”? Though I agree with the unsustainable part, based on how people behave unsustainably then multiply…

        1. I agree, lol. But if we made this the “cheap” rice, poor Filipinos will work harder to earn more so they can say “I eat white rice.”

  7. Fuck it was just a suggestion, an attempt at honest information dissemination.
    Well by all means, eat more rice, and your sweet spaghetti and your lard-cooked fried chicken. Walang basagan ng trip. Wala ring kokontra kung tatawanan kita kung tinamaan ka ng diabetes. Take note di nagagamot yun. Kahit anong sabi ng anong fb share na nababasa mo.

    1. “Honest information dissemsemination”
      Dude, if your getting your idea of what causes diabetes from a non-scientist politician, you’re no diff from peeps who get their dose of info from FB shares. Sabay tatawanan mo pa ang “incurable” disease nila.????
      Was only gonna reiterate the scientific truth na di mo narinig mula kay Cynthia:

      Nobody knows for a certain what causes diabetes and nobody knows the ultimate cure.

      Cynthia is wildguessing the cause of diabetes and wildguessing its ultimate cure para maisingit lang ang banning ng unli-rice. Kuha mo?

      It doesn’t matter how many “countries” na binabanggit ni Cynthia ang nagsabing rice causes diabetes. There are very few data to back that up on scientific grounds.

      9999% ng Pinoy population kumakain ng napakaraming kanin araw-araw. Why the heck aren’t we all dying from diabetes?

      Nakarinig lang kayo ng tungkol sa diabetes from a “concerned” politician naging armchair diabetes expert na kayong lahat.

      1. never did i claim i was an expert. all i know is the basic rule of thumb that too much of something is bad for one’s well-being.

  8. mostly i eat rice because my body needs it. i bike to work almost 8km/day. so me eating rice as an individual got no problem with it.

    1. Exactly. The idea of rice overconsumption is relative to your body and lifestyle needs, based on the findings of your personal nutritionist. There is no universal measure of rice overconsumption, which is one of many places where Cynthia Villar’s myopic suggestion fails.

  9. Carbohydrates don’t cause diabetes not even sugar! It’s fat stored in your muscles blocking the insulin receptors that are the cause of diabetes. Once you loose enough fat your type II diabetes will go away. Eating white rice is starch that our body needs but we also need antioxidant, phytochemicals and other nutrients that is low in white rice. If you eat rice with nutrient dense green vegetables like camote leaves you will be fine. It’ amazing how much folks are misguided about the cause of diabetes including the author of this article. Start fucking educate yourself by start watching some educational movies like “forks over knifes”

    1. Start fucking reading the article first before you comment. Nowhere in the article did the author assert that rice is a “cause” of diabetes.

      1. Senator Cynthia Villar: “So dapat i-train na rin nating mga Filipinos not to eat too much rice kasi nagiging diabetic. And you know, it’s expensive to cure diabetes. ”
        The author: “Senator Cynthia Villar is correct: Eating too much rice is bad for the health. ” ” …rice can lead to health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes”
        Can you fucking read benign0 or at least connect the dots? What’s wrong with you dude?

        1. No YOU learn how to read and comprehend. Saying that something “leads to” is not the same as saying something is a “cause of”. Whilst you described the cause of diabetes here…

          It’s fat stored in your muscles blocking the insulin receptors that are the cause of diabetes

          …just the same, eating too much rice puts one at greater risk of diabetes taking into account other lifestyle contributors. Therefore, excessive consumption of rice can lead to diabetes.

    2. You’re an idiot Atilla. Yeah, rice isn’t a sugar, but starch very very easily converted into sugar. And as mentioned by Benign0, that was a direct quote from Villar. Academic honesty demands that you don’t change the words of another.

        1. Just the same, your assertion (and the attack mode you unnecessarily applied to articulating it) earlier that we were stating that rice “causes” diabetes is false. Next time, follow your own advise and read and COMPREHEND carefully before you comment so as not to come across like a jackass.

  10. Eat a lot of green leafy vegetables; it will lower your sugar level in your body; and will cure your diabetes. Exercise, to stay lean and healthy…lower your body fat, by lowering your carbohydrate intake…

    1. benign0
      You don’t like science do you? You just love living in your cocoon. You certainly don’t like the sound of me saying Rice “causes” diabetes is false, don’t you? The fact is eating animal protein with white rice will cause diabetes. Eating rice with leafy vegetables and tubers will not. On top of that if you have a fatty diet the insulin receptors in your muscles are also get blocked causing you type II diabetes. It is not carbohydrates not even sugar but animal fat and protein that causes diabetics. Shove it, and do your research.

  11. Worrying about rice when there’s a thousand other far more important problems to think about! Clever mind you, while we’re talking about rice, we’re not talking about anything else I guess – takes our mind of the real issues…

  12. Ilda, apart from the health angle (I’m a prediabetic as a side effect of PCOS), yung rice wastage din should be a big concern, although more na ito of moral rather than governmental aspect. Kahit na may campaign to be more rice-ponsible I still see a lot if Filipinos wasting rice. At Mang Inasal here for instance, I often see customers ordering unli rice only to leave it unfinished on their plates. I feel sorry for the farmers who worked hard just to grow the rice.

    1. Good point! There is already an impending rice shortage, but some establishments are still promoting overconsumption.

  13. I believe diabetics are advised to cut down or eliminate rice from their diet, because it indeed contributes to increased blood sugar, and in non-diabetics, lots of rice without adequate bodily exercise will make one fat. Lots of health findings still point down to cutting down rice consumption. Perhaps one can even support expanding alternate crops, such as kamote, grain and oats.

    I agree with Jah, unlimited rice leads to rice wastage. But the problem there won’t be solved by banning that promo. It’s better solved by Filipinos changing their eating habits. They actually do this to all kinds of food, not just rice. You ought to see the abandoned chicken pieces that have so much meat on them, with little bites all over. And they get thrown out with the trash. Many Filipinos are careless eaters. It’s better to reinforce the culture of finishing what you get to eat, and making sure that what you get at first is the appropriate amount.

    1. East Asians didn’t have a diabetes problem eating white rice until the last decade. They are eating 30% less rice today than they use to do. So what changed? Now they eat more animal protein and less vegetables with their rice and that’s what causing diabetes. White rice with animal protein together spikes insulin dramatically. Plant based whole foods with white rice keeps the insulin surge in check and prevents the glucose enter rapidly in to the bloodstream. Your East Asian ancestors were eating much more plants (tubers and vegetables) with their white rice and much less animal protein and fat. So even if they ate more rice they didn’t develop the illness. Articles like this is just adds to the confusion about the real cause of diabetes. Rice is not the culprit. There is no such thing as too much rice either.

      1. Do you realize how inconsistent your position is? First you say that Asians didn’t have a diabetes problem when they were consuming 30% less rice. Obviously, rice is a contributing factor. Then you go on to say that there is no such thing as too much rice(!). Not only is it inconsistent, but its also ridiculous. No one with any credibility is going to make such a fantastic assertion. You see Agnes Callamard, people stopped paying attention to her the moments she claimed shabu doesn’t cause brain damage. Same thing, with this.

  14. If Cynthia Villar wanted to solve diabetes, she’d start with funding research projects about the disease. You cannot solve a problem that you don’t fully understand, and scientists admit that they barely understand what is the cause and cure for diabetes. Yet, Cynthia speak as if she’s certain with the cause and cure for diabetes (she’s basing on too few research data that is yet to be verified.)

    Attila might have a point. Basing on unverified researches could be counterintuitive as there could be a political agenda behind these “researches.”

    Take for instance, GMOs. Companies who would’ve been affected and thwarted by GMO products demonize GMO by fabricating “scientific researches” that are dubious and not backed by scientists. So who’s to say that blaming white rice for causing diabetes is not merely a myth to cut the demand of rice in the market?

    After all, politicians hate science, unless they can politicize it. And that’s what Cynthia is doing. She’s attempting to advocate for a bill that is based on pseudoscience.

    And taking Attila’s albeit revisionist point, kung magbabase ka lang din sa istatistika, bakit hindi lahat ng Pinoy at Southeast Asians ay diabetic?

    Seems blaming a food that is eaten by almost everyone is merely a wild guess. It’s like telling that water can lead to skin dryness because people who suffer from dry skin drinks water. The point here is Cynthia and her supporters ignore the control group completely. They ignore the vast amount of people who live the same “unhealthy lifestyle” of eating plenty of white rice but doesn’t contract diabetes, or in the analogy, water drinkers who don’t develop dry skin.

    In relevant news, kamakailan lang napabalita ang tungkol sa dengue vaccine na binili ng DOH at hindi rin napakinabangan dahil sa last-minute criticism and doubts. Nag-ugat ito sa kakulangan ng pang-unawa. The DOH is trying to solve a problem using a solution na hindi pa nabeberipika. The same goes with the banning of white rice to prevent diabetes.

    Doon naman sa rice wastage, hindi na talaga mawawala yan at wala rin tayong kontrol sa sinasayang na pagkain ng iba dahil technically, it’s their property and right dahil binili na nila ito. Ang ugat ng rice wastage ay food fatigue. At ang solusyon sa food fatigue ay variety. Kaso nga malabo ang mag-promote ng variety kung pamahal nang pamahal ang mga bilihin. Kaya ang ultimate cause ng rice wastage ay ang masyadong mahal na kalakaran sa mga produktong panghalili sa bigas.

    Eh kung puro pagbabawal na lang ang naiisip na solusyon ng mga politiko, diyan lalong nalulugmok ang bansa.

    Dini-discourage din ng scientific community ang paggawa ng batas at assumptions base sa mga bagong labas na “research” dahil nga sa maaari pa itong magkamali because that’s how science works. It doesn’t matter how many articles pop online affirming such assumptions.

  15. I am Italian and my wife is Bulaquenya and sure enough she gobbles up tons of rice.
    I am concerned for a very important reason, to put it simply: white rice, the staple food of Filipinos, is high on the glycemic index and increases the risk of diabetes.

    This is certainly not an attack on the eating habits of Filipinos. I come from a country where most people eat pasta and pizza all the time and pasta and pizza are refined carbs just like white rice and they are high on the glycemic index just like white rice.

    I am not saying this things because I am an expert in the field of nutrition. It’s just that I have come across a doctor, who is also a famous health coach here in Italy, who preaches the 50+25+25 rule which means that a truly healthy meal should be made up of 50% raw vegetables (meaning leafy green vegetables that should either be eaten raw or lightly steamed, like steamed broccoli for example). The remaining part of a healthy meal should include 25% whole grain carbs (that could include rice but it should be strictly 100% wholegrain) and the remaining 25% should be a portion of healthy proteins.

    I’ve made my own research and I’ve found out that, although there are several conflicting theories out there (some say that we should only be eating veggies and proteins and discount the carbs, including the whole grain ones, others say that animal proteins should be avoided etc.) but all experts seem to agree on one point: vegetables should be the bulk of our diet, not rice, not pasta and not bread.

    So it seems like both Filipinos and my Italian fellow countrymen are definitely messing up because both races are high on refined carbs and they both regard them as the bulk of their diet.

    And sure enough, both my country and my Pinoy wife’s country are experiencing an epidemic of heart disease and diabetes, which is not just a personal disaster for the people who get sick: it’s a massive problem for the health care system that, while in my country is public, in the Philippines it is largely private.

    One might say that Filipinos are too poor to consider healthy alternatives. Maybe this is true. On the other hand though most Filipinos who work overseas are not poor at all and they still eat tons of white rice. The more money they make the more they spend to go eating out, typically to the so-called “eat all you can”-style restaurants where they can have unlimited rice.

    Italians have plenty of money to buy food and they also make the very poor choice of eating refined carbs in the form of pasta or pizza (or both) every day.

    So, poverty is probably not the real issue here.

    The habit of consuming huge amounts of refined carbs is the result of an indoctrination that begins in early childhood and both in the Philippines and in my country very few people dare to question the validity of this eating style.

    1. I AM 25. A DIABETIC. TYPE 2. My parents enrolled me in Kaiser Permanente the biggest HMO in the whole of USA. Kaiser Seminar for Diabetic told us Asians, Latinos and Blacks are susceptible to Diabetes. In that seminar I was the only White. According to that Seminar 140 blood sugar should be normal to non-Whites if they are Type 2s.

      I tried brown rice. Basmati rice. Violet. Sticky. In smaller amount, my blood sugar still shoot to the roof. I learned from the Seminar 225 is normal reading after meal. So I am happy. Eventually I kind of not eat rice anymore. Bread, may it be white or brown or violet still no good for me. Vegetable gives me the bloat. Pasta over marinara sauce kind of work for me so does croissant.

      I hear most often Filipinos die of kidney disease. According to their lore because they drink a lot of alcohol not realizing it is diabetes. I can now see plenty of dialysis centers in the Philippines. I do not know how much it cost per session. I am hoping it is covered by their insurances.

      Filipinos should have seminars like Kaiser gave so they can be educated what to eat, what portion and when.

      Since Filipinos are complaining of skyrocketing rice prices and pandesal they should be happy they cannot eat these anymore. RICE & PANDESAL ARE POISON !!!!!

  16. Maraming kanin+maraming baboy + maraming soft drinks+maraming gin=malaking problema… fellow countrymen don’t eat any ealthier though. Messing up one’s health is quite cross cultural. Unfortunately the Philippines does not even have a proper public health care system….

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