Avoiding eating unhealthy in the office

Healthy eating is vital to ensure in the office as most people spend their time there.

7 weight loss roadblocks you may encounter in your office

It’s easy to trip up on our diet and exercise goals when holed up in an office all day. But that doesn’t mean you have to surrender in the battle of the bulge.

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Fox News spoke with Lauren Blake, a dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and Angel Planells, a Seattle-based dietitian and spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about some common diet mistakes people make at work, and how to fix them:

1. You sit for hours on end.
Sitting too long can really sabotage weight loss goals because every movement counts, Blake said. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or go for a brief walk around the office every 30 – 45 minutes, Planells recommended.

2. You aren’t prepared for a hunger attack.
If you don’t have healthy snacks on hand, you’re more likely to head for the vending machine or mindlessly reach into the office candy jar. Blake and Planells recommended keeping healthy snacks like fruit and nuts on hand.

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3. You suffer from on-the-job stress.
Chronic stress can trigger cortisol, a stress hormone that leads to fat storage and sugar cravings, Blake said. Try taking deep breaths, giving yourself small breaks, or going for a walk to manage your stress levels, she recommended.

4. You eat at your desk.
Eating at our desks “is a big no-no,” Planells told Fox News. When you do so, you’re not as mindful of what you’re eating, and you may overeat, he explained. Opt for a common dining area instead.

5. You don’t get enough sunshine.
Studies have shown sun exposure is associated with a lower BMI, so try to get some sunlight throughout the day, Blake recommended.

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6. You forget to pack your lunch.
If you don’t pack your lunch, you’re more likely to rely on fast food, Blake explained. Commit to packing a lunch one to two days per week. If you do eat out, “look for any way you can add vegetables,” Blake said, whether that’s a salad or lean protein and veggies. Or, opt for a soup and salad, Planells suggested.

7. Your coworkers’ bad habits rub off on you.
Sometimes, you may be tempted to go out more with your coworkers, or else partake in some of the decadent treats or snacks they bring, Planells said. Even if you can’t abstain from the treats, Planells said, try just taking a small portion — a half or a quarter of a donut, for instance.

 

Reference for the article is Fox news

 

less trans fat better heart health research finds

Eliminating trans fat in your diet is a healthy way of living

Trans Fat Bans Tied to Fewer Heart Attacks and Strokes

Laws that restrict adding trans fats to foods have had immediate beneficial effects on heart health, new research has found.

The Food and Drug Administration plans to restrict the use of trans fats in foods nationwide in 2018, but between 2007 and 2011, some counties in New York State, but not others, banned trans fatty acids in restaurants, bakeries, soup kitchens, park concessions and other public places where food is served. In a natural experiment to test the effect of the ban, researchers compared nine counties with trans fat restrictions to eight that had none.

Cardiovascular disease has been declining nationwide in recent years, but the decline was even steeper in counties where trans fats were banned. Three years after restrictions were imposed, there was an additional 6.2 percent decline in hospital admissions for heart attacks and strokes in counties that banned trans fats compared with those that did not. The study, in JAMA Cardiology, accounted for age and other demographic factors.

“The most important message from these data is that they confirm what we predicted — benefit in the reduction of heart attacks and strokes,” said the lead author, Dr. Eric J. Brandt, a fellow in cardiovascular medicine at Yale. “This is a well-planned and well-executed public policy.”

The above article is from New York Times

Increase of sodium over the years is being a concern

High blood pressure is from high Soduim diets in America

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Photocred: Honeybadgermom.com

Americans With High Blood Pressure Still Eating Too Much Salt

Average sodium intake more than double the recommended daily limit for these patients, study finds

WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) — For Americans with high blood pressure, cutting back on salt is an important way to help keep the condition under control. Yet, new research shows that these patients are getting more salt in their diet than they did in 1999.

Between 1999 and 2012, salt (sodium) consumption rose from about 2,900 milligrams a day (mg/day) to 3,350 mg/day. That’s more than double the ideal upper limit of 1,500 mg/day of sodium recommended by the American Heart Association for people with high blood pressure (or “hypertension”).

One teaspoon of table salt contains about 2,300 mg of sodium. Salt also contains chloride, but it’s the sodium that’s concerning for heart and blood pressure problems.

Sodium is an essential nutrient that helps control water balance in the body. But too much can cause excess water to build up, increasing blood pressure, and putting a strain on the heart and blood vessels, according to the heart association.

“You really need to watch the salt in your diet, especially if you are hypertensive,” said study senior author Dr. Sameer Bansilal. He is an assistant professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

“People who eat too much salt are more likely to have uncontrolled hypertension, and they may suffer from complications of hypertension, like heart and kidney dysfunction, and heart attack and stroke,” he said.

According to Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, “These findings question the effectiveness of interventions to reduce salt consumption among hypertensive adults.”

For the study, Bansilal and colleagues collected data on more than 13,000 men and women who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2012. All of the participants had high blood pressure. Their average age was 60.

Daily sodium intake increased among people with high blood pressure by more than 14 percent overall from 1999 to 2012, the findings showed.

Among Hispanics and blacks, sodium consumption increased 26 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Among whites, sodium consumption increased 2 percent, the researchers found.

“Whites always had a higher salt consumption, so it’s not like they’re in a good place, it’s more like they were in a bad place and stayed there, and blacks and Hispanics caught up from being in a better place to being in a bad place as well,” Bansilal said.

People with the lowest salt consumption included those who had already had a heart attack or stroke, those taking blood pressure medications, people with diabetes, obese people and those with heart failure, he said.

“At least these people seemed to have taken the message to heart and have lowered their salt intake, so that’s reassuring,” Bansilal said.

For people without high blood pressure, U.S. dietary guidelines recommend a daily maximum of one teaspoon of salt a day (2,300 mg of sodium), Bansilal said.

Samantha Heller is senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. She said, “You may not think you are eating too much salt, but consider this: just one teaspoon of table salt has about 2,300 mg of sodium.”

And, she added, most of the sodium in your diet probably doesn’t come from your salt shaker.

“Over 75 percent of the salt we eat comes from packaged and prepared foods. Only about 15 to 20 percent comes from the salt shaker,” Heller said.

 

Sources of high-salt foods include highly processed, store-bought and prepared foods, such as soups, pizza, breads, sauces and cold cuts. Sodium is also in products such as baking soda, baking powder, monosodium glutamate (MSG), disodium phosphate, garlic salt, sodium benzoate and other additives, she said.

“Because some of these compounds are added to foods for shelf-life, texture and as a preservative or flavor enhancer, the food may not taste salty,” Heller said. “That does not mean that the salt content is not high.”

The World Health Organization predicts that an estimated 2.5 million deaths could be prevented each year if global salt consumption were reduced to the recommended level.

Heller suggested that “cooking from scratch at home more often is the easiest way to slash salt in our diets.”

The results of the study are scheduled to be presented March 19 at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting, in Washington, D.C. Findings presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Reference for the above article is HealthDay

Aurthor’s opinion

It is clear that the sodium consumption increases as the years go on. This is due, in large to the processed food that is being done in my opinion. My advice would be to get into the habit of not adding salt into your diet, well this is a habit I have been doing for three years and it has done wonders to my health. I also Advice substituting bread with veggie or brown rice as these are a healthier way of living.

Learning to gain weight is as important as learning to loose it

Weight gain can be done in an effective way

Cred:Mxzide.net

 

How to Gain Weight in a Healthy Way

It can be as difficult as losing weight for some people

Just like losing weight is a goal for some people, gaining weight is a goal for many others. And figuring out how to gain weight can be equally as difficult, for many different reasons. Factors like genetics, medications, stress, chronic health problems, and mental health struggles like depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder, can all make putting on weight a physical and mental challenge.

“We constantly hear about the obesity epidemic, and our society places such an emphasis on weight loss and dieting, but there are so many individuals out there who are struggling with the opposite problem,” Marla Scanzello, M.S., R.D., director of dietary service at Eating Recovery Center, tells SELF. “It is essential for [those individuals] to recognize that their needs are different and to tune out the unhelpful dieting and weight loss messages surrounding them,” Scanzello adds.

The truth is that for some people, being their healthiest self means gaining some weight. “Being underweight puts you at risk for a variety of health issues, including fragile bones, fertility issues, hair loss, a weakened immune system, fatigue, and malnutrition,” Alissa Rumsey, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells SELF.

Of course, healthy weight ranges will be different for every person. If you’re not sure what that means for you, definitely talk with your general physician or a registered dietitian. This is tricky, and what works for your friends won’t necessarily work for you, so it’s essential to do what’s right for your body and keeps you nourished, happy, and healthy.

(If you have an eating disorder, seeking help from a treatment center, or just a trusted doctor, is essential. You should not change your diet, count calories, or try to put on weight on your own before speaking with a professional who can help you come up with the right plan for you.)

If you are looking for ways to make weight gain easier, here are some tips for doing so in a healthy way.

Go get a physical.

If you don’t already know why weight gain is tough for you, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. Some chronic health conditions like hyperthyroidism and some digestive issues like Crohn’s disease can cause weight loss. You may also just have a very high metabolism, Rumsey says. Figuring out the underlying cause (if there is one) and treating that will help you reach your goals.

Do a mental health check.

“Some people may lose weight during times of stress or depression and need to regain weight for optimal health,” Scanzello says. “In these cases, it may also be helpful for them to see a therapist to address the underlying emotional issues contributing to lack of appetite and/or weight loss.”

Weight problems can be a physical symptom of stress, so check in on yourself and assess your stress levels. If you realize you need to get them in check, or that you’re struggling with other things like depression or anxiety, seeing a therapist can help you sort things out.

Eat smaller meals throughout the day.

“Often it can feel overwhelming to sit down to a large plate of food, so start out by eating more frequent meals,” Rumsey suggests. “Eating every two to three hours can help you get a lot of calories in without feeling stuffed.” It can also help mitigate some of the GI discomfort you may feel. “When individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight start increasing their food intake, they often experience uncomfortable physical symptoms, such as constipation, gas, bloating, and stomach pain,” Scanzello says. It may just be more comfortable physically to spread out the extra food needed to gain weight throughout the day.

Drink smoothies and shakes.

Energy-dense liquids are an easy way to take in more calories without feeling too uncomfortably full. “It is often easier to drink a lot of calories than to eat those calories via real food,” Rumsey notes. You can also pack them with vitamins and nutrients, and drink them on the go. Other calorically dense drinks can help, too. “Caloric fluids like milk and juice can also be added or used to replace fluids, such as water and diet drinks, to help meet energy needs for weight gain,” Scanzello says. Just be cautious of how much sugar you’re drinking—excess sugar can have negative health consequences, and you don’t want to fill up on sugar instead of nutrient-rich foods.

Focus on calorically dense but healthy foods.

It’s really important that you’re getting a healthy mix of nutrients, not just calories. “Weight gain due to more calories from unhealthy food sources like large amounts of salty, greasy, sugary, highly processed foods can cause other health problems down the road, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease,” Rumsey says.

Also, if you’re not loading up on healthful foods, you run the risk of remaining malnourished even after putting on weight. “It is best to increase food intake with a variety of foods and balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to help replenish nutritional status,” Scanzello says. She suggests focusing on energy-dense foods, such as nuts, oils, dried fruit, granola, peanut butter, and other spreads and fats.

Cut back on cardio.

Scanzello emphasizes that for some people, exercise can be dangerous until you’ve reached a certain weight. “It is best to be medically cleared for exercise if underweight,” she says. If you’ve talked to your doctor and are given the go-ahead, Rumsey says stick to strength training over cardio. “For people looking to gain weight, I recommend an exercise regimen of mostly strength training, with very little cardio,” she says. Yes, you’ll still burn some calories lifting weights, but you will also put on muscle mass. Exercising a bit may also help stimulate your appetite, giving you an extra nudge toward reaching your goals.

Reference for the above article is SELF

Author’s opinion

Most people are only familiar with loosing weight, this leave the other population unaware of how they can gain weight. This overlooking of gaining weight leads to the belief that only being over weight is a problem. However it is vital to know that being underweight is just as dangerous as being over weight. Having a small body from a young age I can attest to the fact that it is extremely difficult to gain weight in a healthy way as the popular belief is that one needs to indulge in fatty foods to accomplish such feat. This is what leads to young people having conditions such as high cholesterol.

Dangers of fatty foods to your insulin

fatty foods are never a healthy lifestyle and can endanger your health for good in one serving

healthy living tips

A single cheeseburger can trigger changes in body linked to diabetes and fatty liver disease, study warns

Fatty food can reduce sensitivity to insulin and raise levels of fats linked to heart disease

Just one fatty meal, such as a cheeseburger and chips, is enough to alter the body’s metabolism and trigger changes associated with liver disease and diabetes, researchers have found.

In bad news for anyone who enjoys the occasional greasy overindulgence, scientists have warned that consuming a big helping of rich, fatty food can reduce sensitivity to insulin and immediately raise levels of fats linked to heart disease.

While the bodies of those who keep fit may be able to recover from a fried chicken or pizza blow-out, lasting damage is likely to take place if it becomes a regular occurrence.

Researchers at the German Diabetes Centre in Dusseldorf, Germany, gave 14 lean and healthy men aged 20 to 40 either given a vanilla-flavoured palm oil drink or plain water.

The palm oil drink contained a similar amount of saturated fat as an eight-slice pepperoni pizza or a regular cheeseburger served with a large portion of chips.

Tests showed that consuming the palm oil resulted in an immediate increase in fat accumulation and reduced sensitivity to insulin, the vital hormone that regulates blood sugar.

It also raised levels of triglycerides – a type of fat linked to heart disease – altered liver function and led to changes in gene activity associated with fatty liver disease.

A single high-fat meal “would probably be sufficient to induce transient insulin resistance and impair hepatic [liver] metabolism,“ wrote the team in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

“We presume that lean, healthy individuals are able to compensate adequately for excessive intake of saturated fatty acids, however, sustained and repeated exposure to such nutrients will ultimately lead to chronic insulin resistance, and NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).”

Palm oil was found to reduce insulin sensitivity by 25 per cent in the whole body, while the mechanism that generates glucose sugar from non-carbohydrate foods became 70 per cent more active.

Levels of glucagon, a hormone that stops blood sugar falling, were also raised. Similar effects were seen in mice given the same palm oil treatment.

Emily Burns, research communications manager at Diabetes UK, recommended following a balanced diet while further research took place.

“We know that eating too much saturated fat might be linked to insulin resistance and this study gives us some insight into what’s actually happening inside the body,” said Dr Burns.

“While this study suggests that fat has a real impact on the liver, we need to be careful how we interpret the results.

“The research didn’t involve any women and didn’t compare the effects of saturated fat to other foods like protein or unsaturated fat.”

Source of article is Independent UK

How cancer could be creeping into your health without you knowing it.

The foods we eat may have a cancer triggering mechanism

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Browned toast and potatoes are ‘potential cancer risk’, say food scientists

Bread, chips and potatoes should be cooked to a golden yellow colour, rather than brown, to reduce our intake of a chemical which could cause cancer, government food scientists are warning.

Acrylamide is produced when starchy foods are roasted, fried or grilled for too long at high temperatures.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends carefully following cooking instructions and avoiding browning.

However, Cancer Research UK said the link was not proven in humans.

The FSA also says potatoes and parsnips should not be kept in the fridge.

Credit:dreamtimes.com

This is because sugar levels rise in the vegetables at low temperatures, potentially increasing the amount of acrylamide produced during cooking.

Acrylamide is present in many different types of food and is a natural by-product of the cooking process.

The highest levels of the substance are found in foods with high starch content which have been cooked above 120C, such as crisps, bread, breakfast cereals, biscuits, crackers, cakes and coffee.

It can also be produced during home cooking, when high-starch foods – such as potatoes, chips, bread and parsnips – are baked, roasted, grilled or fried at high temperatures.

When bread is grilled to make toast, for example, this causes more acrylamide to be produced. The darker the colour of the toast, the more acrylamide is present.

During the browning process, the sugar, amino acids and water present in the bread combine to create colour and acrylamide – as well as flavour and aromas.

The Food Standards Agency says it is not clear exactly how much acrylamide can be tolerated by people, but it does believe that we are eating too much of it.

So it is advising people to make small changes to the way they cook and prepare food, including:

  • Go for a golden yellow colour when toasting, frying, baking, or roasting starchy foods such as potatoes, bread and root vegetables
  • Don’t keep raw potatoes in the fridge – store them in a cool, dark place above 6C instead
  • Follow the cooking instructions carefully when heating oven chips, pizzas, roast potatoes and parsnips
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes five portions of vegetables and fruit per day as well as starchy carbohydrates

What’s the risk?

Research in animals has shown that the chemical is toxic to DNA and causes cancer – so scientists assume the same is true in people, although as yet there is no conclusive evidence.

The possible effects of acrylamide exposure include an increased lifetime risk of cancer and effects on the nervous and reproductive systems.

But whether or not acrylamide causes these effects in humans depends upon the level of exposure – and some are not convinced that there is any real danger to public health.

David Spiegelhalter, professor for the public understanding of risk at Cambridge University, said there was no estimate of the current harm caused by acrylamide or the benefit from a reduction.

He said: “Even adults with the highest consumption of acrylamide would need to consume 160 times as much to reach a level that might cause increased tumours in rats.”

 researches say food such as biscuits and bread produce Acrylimade which increases cancer

Credit:foodnetwork.com UK

Smoking exposes people to three to four times more acrylamide than non-smokers because the chemical is present in tobacco smoke.

As well as advising the public, the Food Standards Agency is also working with industry to reduce acrylamide in processed food.

And there has been some progress – between 2007 and 2015, it found evidence of an average 30% reduction in acrylamide across all products in the UK.

Steve Wearne, director of policy at the Food Standards Agency, said most people were not aware that acrylamide even existed.

“We want our campaign to highlight the issue so that consumers know how to make the small changes that may reduce their acrylamide consumption whilst still eating plenty of starchy carbohydrates and vegetables as recommended in government healthy eating advice.

“Although there is more to know about the true extent of the acrylamide risk, there is an important job for government, industry and others to do to help reduce acrylamide intake.”

High-calorie crisps

Emma Shields, health information officer from Cancer Research UK, acknowledges that acrylamide in food could be linked to cancer – but she says the link is not clear and consistent in humans.

“To be on the safe side, people can reduce their exposure by following a normal healthy, balanced diet – which includes eating fewer high calorie foods like crisps, chips and biscuits, which are the major sources of acrylamide.”

She said there was many other well-established risk factors for cancer “like smoking, obesity and alcohol which all have a big impact on the number of cancer cases in the UK”.

Reference for the above article is BBC news

my opinion

Whether Acrylamide does affect our health and expose us to cancer it is always good to ensure we stay on the safe side. Normally the foods that are said to produce acrylamide are deemed to be lowered in terms of their consumption.

The trend of eating the good foods seems to increase

Healthy eating habits to continue this year

Consumers are increasingly interested in functional foods, and enthusiasm for protein won’t trail off anytime this year, predicts the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation.

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photocred:hsph.havard.edu

The reference for the above article is Food navigator

The popularity of Processed foods

Healthy eating is about consuming foods that are nutritious and healthy

Parents purchase frozen dinners for more than convenience

healthy living tips

Processed foods are higher in calories, sugar, sodium, and saturated fat than natural foods, but prepackaged, processed meals remain a popular choice for many consumers because they reduce the energy, time, and cooking skills needed to prepare food. Having items like boxed entrees and frozen dinners available at home can contribute to a poor diet, which led researchers from the University of Minnesota and Duke University to examine reasons why parents purchase prepackaged, processed foods.

Although the majority (57%) of parents surveyed as part of this study identified time savings as a reason for purchasing frozen dinners, the results were more complex. With data from the HOME Plus randomized controlled trial, researchers used a psychosocial survey to assess the motivation of parents in buying prepackaged, processed foods. Nearly half (49%) of parents reported buying ready meals because their families really liked the meals, one third chose processed foods because children could help prepare them, and more than one quarter (27%) preferred the cost savings of frozen dinners.

“Because of the convenience and marketing of prepackaged, processed meals, it is not entirely surprising that most parents buy frozen dinners to save time on preparation,” lead author Melissa Horning, PhD, RN, PHN, said.

Previous studies had shown a link between purchasing frozen dinners and the desire to save time, and the researchers also found a link between parents working more hours per week and choosing to purchase prepackaged, processed meals. Likewise, indicating any reason for purchasing frozen dinners other than “They are easy for my child to prepare” was linked to parents have lower cooking self-efficacy and meal-planning ability.

The results of this study raise some concerns, namely that choosing prepackaged, processed meals was linked to less fruit and vegetable availability, greater availability of less nutritious foods, and lower cooking self-efficacy and meal-planning skills. The researchers suggest that future studies address these concerns.

“If parents are not confident in their ability to cook, prepackaged, processed meals are an appealing but less nutritious option,” Horning commented. “Parental attributes of self-efficacy for cooking healthful meals and meal-planning ability are modifiable, however, and new research should confirm our findings and explore interventions to enhance parents’ skills and abilities.”

Reference for the above article is Science Daily

 

Churches can bring about healthy living for mankind

Healthy living can be brought about by churches

The church is key in promoting health

The definition of health according to World Health Organisation is ‘a complete state of physical, social, economic, psychological and spiritual well being’

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By Fred Sheldon Mwesigwa

The recently released parliamentary opinion poll survey results on citizens’ perceptions on Uganda’s governance, expressed their biggest need in improving welfare of Ugandans as improvement of health service delivery. The results of the household survey poll conducted by Research World International is an indicator of how Ugandans seriously consider health issues over and above education, infrastructural development and other key social economic challenges. No wonder, the Banyankore say ‘amagara nigakyira amagana’ literally translated as ‘life is far more worthy than wealth’.

The definition of health according to World Health Organisation is ‘a complete state of physical, social, economic, psychological and spiritual well being.’ While a complete realisation of this state in human terms seems utopian, it sets manageable objectives that can be achieved especially by Christians, world over who are expected to live a full life as pronounced by Jesus Christ. Jesus said, ‘A thief comes to kill, steal and destroy but I have come that you may have life and have it in full (John 10: 10). The thief, Satan, attacks his prey, the Christians, from different fronts including fanning poor economic conditions that more often than not arise from laziness. It is for this reason that Paul admonishes his hearers that he who does not work should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3: 10). Church leadership has a key role to play in promoting hard work in line with the use of our talents (Mathew 25: 14-30) and this role has been well emphasized in Churches. Secondly, the thief Satan, targets disrupting the social and psychological status of individuals through causing disharmony within an individual and between husband and wife, children and parents and other blocks of relationships in society.

One of the most under-looked areas of Church ministry is in ensuring full Christian life through the care for our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Church leadership needs to engage squarely with the issue of health since it is in line with the Jesus proclamation of life in full for believers. While the Church has squarely addressed disease through establishing mission hospitals and gotten concerned with spiritual warfare especially problems of witchcraft and while the issue of sin that corrupts man has been addressed overtly, the area of health education has not been well-addressed. The devil, Satan, has taken advantage of this to attack Christians through disease that affects the physical body.
I have attended several funerals and whenever I listen to the post-mortem reports it ignites my passion to engage with this subject. Only about a week ago, I visited a family that had just buried their 35-year-old son and as I engaged them in a conversation, it became clear that the problem arose from the eating habits or diet of the young man.

In our vigil conversation there were several old people well above70 years and a few young men. When the subject turned to the kind of food the old people in our society used to eat, and some still do eat, as possible reason for long life, the father of the deceased innocently remarked that in fact his son, who was a mechanic, used to eat two platefuls of roasted pork almost daily and he was commonly nicknamed Muchomo! He went on to say my son had put on much weight and really these young people’s eating habits are not the same as ours. In an instant I thought the code of the cause of death had been cracked. His brother went on to tell us that the over weight young man got a heart attack at 3pm and by 5 am he was dead. The medical report read that it was a cardiac arrest. Although none among us at the vigil was a medical doctor, we gave the verdict that most certainly the cause of death was poor diet.

Many argued that in such cases perhaps the pork with its fat clogged the blood vessels and stopped the heart. It is for such reasons that in 2015 I launched a pastoral health campaign of teaching what I considered to be the four critical diseases namely Cancer, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and HIV/ Aids. My interesting discovery was that apart from men, whose services were to be found at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital only particularly for prostate cancer, women throughout the districts of Ibanda, Isingiro, Mbarara and part of Ntungamo had opportunity of having service centres relatively near to test for cancer among other diseases. In addition different women NGOs run test clinics periodically.

Nevertheless, a handful of Christians have ever tested as was proven by a show of hands during my pastoral visits in the 106 parishes! I used this opportunity to teach about the importance of medical tests even when one is not sick. Despite the cultural taboos, progressively we are witnessing changed attitude among Christians.
I was so pleasantly surprised recently while at Rweibare COU in Kashari county when one of the women who had stood up, upon my question of who had responded to my health campaign advice, to say, “Thank you Bishop for advising us, I was able to go and check and although the medics found that I had cancer of the uterus, it was in early stage and the uterus was removed!” The deafening silence that followed was a tale tell sign that the message had sank in. I doubt there is a woman from that church who has not gone for tests.

On August, 7 2016 I received a whatsApp message from one of my highly educated Christians whose mother had been suddenly diagnosed with lung cancer at Mulago Cancer Institute. The message alerted me with other friends to pray and also contribute money towards Shs20 million for further management at a Nairobi hospital to do radiotherapy. Somehow I missed seeing the message but read it on August, 12 2016 and promised to pray and raise some support. Same day my friend sent me a message to say the mother’s situation was getting out of hand with swelling and blockage of vein to heart, etc. On August 14, 2016, I sent some humble contribution but alas, less than two weeks, a message came through to say our 60-year-old friend’s mother had died. The death of this woman raised many questions but certainly with cancer the best treatment is early detection and treatment and that can only be achieved through health education.

These different incidents have further confirmed to me that when Jesus talks about ensuring a full life, he expects of us to promote a holistic gospel that touches the individual. It is not helpful for our Christians to overcome sin but die of ‘simple diseases’ that require simple hygiene or even advanced diseases that can be addressed through available scientific methods.
To this end, collaboration between Parliamentarians, government officials, health professionals and Church leadership will be inevitable if we are to meet the eminent critical need of Ugandan’s, health service delivery, as revealed in the parliamentary household opinion poll.

Reference for the above article is Daily Monitor

The above article may have been altered so as to fit the page.

My opinion

It is evident that health education is a requirement in every area in life. This vital is because the most important aspect before any other area is your health. I think churches are a great platform fo health awareness as people are more inclined to follow church practices more than any other advice. This is thus a great initiative to put it in churches as well as in the work place as these are the places where people mostly spend their time at.