White and brown rice provide positive nutritional contributions and can be part of a calorie-controlled diet, Dr. Joanne Slavin told leaders of a weight management dietitians group this week.  Slavin, professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota and leading expert on the role of carbohydrates in the diet and the relationship between carbohydrates and body weight, said that emerging grains research shows carbohydrates may contain elements that aid satiety and may hold important links to body weight.  

Slavin chaired the carbohydrates subcommittee of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) Scientific Advisory Committee and provided insight into the science behind the DGA grains recommendation, which calls for an average of six one-ounce servings daily.  She also serves on the USA Rice Scientific Advisory Panel.

In her introduction of Dr. Slavin, USA Rice Federation's Anne Banville told dietitians, "The most important thing I can say to you is that the rice industry wants to be part of the solution for the obesity epidemic.  We are encouraged by published research showing that rice consumers have better diet quality, are less likely to be overweight, and have been shown to have a smaller waist circumference and body mass index."

USA Rice exhibited at the meeting, the largest  annual gathering of health professionals and health policy officials, to publicize its new campaign "From MyPlate to Your Plate, Rice Fits!" which shows rice's role in USDA's new healthy eating campaign.