Many of us would be pleased to live in a neighbourhood where a KFC or even a “Maama Naki’s” chips and chicken shop is a stone’s throw away, but a new research study found a link between signs of early heart disease and the types of shops/stores surrounding where we live.
The research study was published earlier this week in the medical journal, Circulation which is run by the American Heart Association.
As much as chips, chicken and deep fried foods of sorts are highly regarded delicacies, but their impact on our health when consumed in huge amounts is devastating, especially to our hearts. And nothing fuels the consumption of such foods than when the shops selling them are the nearest to our homes.
This means one can easily grab these for lunch, supper and maybe for breakfast as opposed to healthier foods such as vegetables and fruits. In the case of an ordinary university student in Uganda, walking past chips, chicken and rolex shops near his/her hostel to go buy fruits or veggies at a market 400 metres away is a waste of time, after all there’s a pile coursework that needs to be done.
Dr. Jeffrey Wing, an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at Grand Valley State University, Michigan and a co-lead author of the research said; “The lack of healthy food stores may help explain why people in these neighborhoods have more heart disease,”
The healthy foods in question are mainly fresh vegetables and fruits. But for the ordinary African, the consumption of vegetables is often regarded in society as a “poor man’s food” which makes the consumption of chips, chicken, burgers.. et cetera the order of the day, in a continent where very few like to be associated with poverty.
According to the World Heart Federation, an estimated 17.3 million people die of heart related diseases every year with over 1.25 million of those coming from Africa.
One can argue that a huge portion of those people could have had the chance to survive heart diseases, had it not been for the unhealthy food shops that surrounded them and continue to surround us today.
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