EATING white rice may be linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

A review of four studies involving 350,000 people found the more white rice people ate, the higher their chance of developing the condition seemed to be.

Experts from Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School looked at two studies in Asian people (Chinese and Japanese) and two in Western populations (the US and Australia).

Asian people tended to have a much higher white rice intake than those in the West. The results showed Asian people have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes, with those who ate the most at highest risk.

However, even for Western populations with typically low intakes, the researchers said "relatively high white rice consumption may still modestly increase risk of diabetes".

The authors said previous studies suggested eating brown rice may modestly decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. But they said larger studies were needed to investigate this.

Around 200,000 people in Scotland have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Thousands more are thought to have the condition but do not know it.