Type of shops around you determine health of your heart

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.

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,”

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Consumption of fruits & vegetables build a healthier heart

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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Is your TV slowly killing you?

Symptoms include chest pains and shortness of breath, things one can get from asthma or even excessive smoking.

News, football, movies, music and many more joys of life are acquired from the television set, providing an impeccable combination of sound and images (both static and moving) unlike any other medium of communication and entertainment.

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The TV brings stories to life in our homes, cars, schools and anywhere else we desire to take it with, but a research study published on Tuesday this week revealed a devastating outcome for TV viewers who spend long hours in front of their sets.

The research was published in the American Heart Association’s journal “Circulation” and it revealed that “People who watch TV for five or more hours a day appear to be at much greater risk of dying from a blood clot in the lung”.

This condition is referred to in the medical field as “Pulmonary Embolism” which in simple terms is a blood clot.
The blood clot is fostered when a person spends a long time without activity in the lower body (like when watching TV on a couch) accompanied by slow blood flow.

The clot which usually begins in the legs and pelvis may then embark on a journey to one’s lungs where it can cause danger once it gets lodged in a blood vessel.

Pulmonary Embolism shares symptoms with other common chronic conditions which makes diagnosis even much harder. Symptoms include chest pains and shortness of breath, things one can get from asthma or even excessive smoking.

The condition is also common among travelers who spend long hours sitting in planes or buses destined for distant areas without rest.

To prevent the occurrence of this deadly blood clot, viewers and long distance travelers are advised to take some water when sitting for long hours, take breaks while watching TV or travelling and also do some bit of stretching to encourage blood flow to the lower parts of the body.

The habit of viewers moving away from TV sets during commercial breaks may be bad news for advertisers but a life or death situation for the viewers.

With the fast growing digital world, habits of lengthy watching are not only confined to TV sets but also extend to smartphones, tablets, laptops and other gadgets, but a separate research needs to be conducted to determine the relationship of these new viewing devices to pulmonary embolism.

The disease that makes women’s behinds grow big

An estimated 370 million women worldwide suffer from the disease. But most think it’s just a natural growth of their hip region, until when it reaches stage 3.

A number of women sacrifice a lot to increase the size of their “behind” while others, the size increases without the use of pills and injections. But in all this is a twist, a chronic disease that makes women’s behinds grow bigger, and bigger and bigger…………

A largely celebrated part of feminine sexuality is the region comprising of the hips, bums and thighs. This part has been immensely celebrated in movies, photography, social media and many songs have been made about it, most notable of all the “German Juice” hence the name.
With all this hype being built up about the “German Juice”, many women especially the less endowed have taken to desperate measures to acquire the “juice”, giving rise to businesses dedicated solely to increasing women’s behinds. Most notable of all in Uganda is FACO. Am not sure whether it’s an abbreviation or acronym. But FACO has always found a way to put a smile on the faces of ladies looking for the German juice.

But besides all the pills and injections FACO customers have to endure to get a bigger German Juice, one disease tends to do exactly just that. Yeah you read it right, a disease that increases women’s behinds. Now some women may wish to get this disease but here’s the mood killer, this disease is “chronic” meaning it will make your German Juice grow on and on…………

The disease is called LIPEDEMA. Below is the web definition:

“Lipedema (painful fat syndrome) is a chronic disease that occurs mostly in females. It is characterized by bilateral, symmetrical fatty tissue excess, mainly in the hip region, upper and lower leg areas and combined with a tendency for leg swelling that worsens with standing”

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Now if you are to look at the photos above about the 4 stages of Lipedema, the first 2 may appear like the ordinary thing we see in the media and may not appear like a disease, in fact if the first 2 ladies wore body shaping clothes, they would be the perfect package. An estimated 370 million women worldwide suffer from Lipedema. But most think it’s just a natural growth of their hip region, until when it reaches stage 3.

The most notable symptom of this disease is that, the patient develops a large lower half, which coincides with another media hype connected to women sexuality, “The Pear-Shape”. In the case of a Lipedema patient for example, one may be size 6 at the top half of their body and size 12 at the bottom half.

The cause of the disease is unknown but scientists believe it can be genetically inherited, then starts when girls reach puberty and becomes worse during or after pregnancy.
Cure of the disease still remains at large as doctors at the moment can only carry out surgery to try and reduce the swelling in patients which always comes back after sometime.

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TAX INCREASE ON CHOCOLATES AND CONFECTIONERIES A FIGHT AGAINST OBESITY AND DIABETES

A survey conducted in 2011 showed that 4.2% of women aged 15-49 were obese while 0.6% of Ugandan men in the same age bracket were obese

Uganda’s 2016/17 national budget announced an increase in taxes imposed on chocolates and confectioneries. The 26.3 trillion budget which was read to the public last week, will generate 70 percent of its income from local taxes. This revelation may not put a smile on the country’s taxpayers, but could be a vital step in reducing obesity and diabetes in Uganda. That’s b’se chocolates and confectioneries are to become a little bit more expensive.

Candy bars, cakes, Swiss rolls, chocolates are replacing natural foods in the diets of most Ugandans. Employees have to grab quick meals in short lunch breaks while others opt to have their lunch on the job, for students, the 30 minutes of break time mean a trip to the canteen where a great deal of edibles sold are confectioneries.

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Confectioneries on sale

According to the World Obesity Federation, a survey conducted in 2011 showed that 4.2% of women aged 15-49 were obese while 0.6% of Ugandan men in the same age bracket were obese. A series of research studies have established a direct link between excessive consumption of chocolates and confectioneries to diabetes and obesity.

Consuming chocolates and confectioneries for three months of a school term or a week on the job surely qualifies as “excessive”. With the Uganda government dedicated to fighting obesity and diabetes, the tax increase may be key in this fight.

The producers of chocolates and confectioneries may not take on these taxes themselves but instead pass them onto the consumers by increasing the prices of the product. Hopefully it’s this price increase that will discourage many from consuming chocolates and confectioneries, and will be a vital step toward the reduction of diabetes and obesity in Uganda.

ARE WE FIGHTING THE WRONG ENEMY? Malaria kills more Ugandans than Al-Shabaab, ADF & LRA combined

We buy insanely expensive Jet fighters and choppers while some of our citizens can’t afford basic medical care.

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Malaria kills thousands of Ugandans every year, most of which are children and pregnant women, but we allocate more resources and funds toward the security sector while our real enemy lies far from the security of the country.

In 2013, The New Vision reported that the annual death toll due to malaria had hit the 100,000 mark. (http:// www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1319285/100-ugandans-die-malaria-minister)

We spend over 1.5 trillion on security, a large portion of our security forces carry guns that cost more than their monthly salary. We spend that much while thousands continue to die of malaria.

Malaria isn’t just a disease, it could mean the difference between a good & ugly economy. Some tourists choose not to come to Uganda for fear of the disease. Doctors, teachers, civil servants, taxpayers and other contributors to the economy all get affected by malaria.

With many children dying of malaria, the age gap will grow leaving many old employees in the economy. I can’t seem to find words stressing the importance of young people in the economy.

We buy insanely expensive Jet fighters and choppers while some of our citizens can’t afford basic medical care.

Until the day we to come realise that we are fighting the wrong enemy, thousands will continue to die

By
Walusimbi Adam