The Sun News

Why are Nigerians becoming more obese now?

Yes, there is recession everywhere. There is hunger in the land. The entire country is famished. Everybody is bitter and complaining of economic crunch. I could gauge this by the number of texts and emails, I receive each week from people, who instead of seeking for medical help, rather request for financial assistance. My God, some, especially very sick ones, openly appeal for consideration saying they could not take my prescribed drugs in an empty stomach.
I have even considered the establishment of a Non-Governmental-Agency(NGO), for the redistribution of wealth. Surprisingly amidst all these, latest report has just shown that there is a rising rate of obesity in Nigeria, especially among our women folk.
Do you know that we have rich obesity and poor obesity. Just like “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, by Robert T. Kiyosaki. You need to read this write-up, to gain control over your overweight and obesity future. Let me repeat, I said we have affluent obesity and famished obesity. Let me explain.
In affluent obesity – the person is well to do, and has all types of excessive food at his beck and call. So binge-eating, over consumption, emotional dependence on food, because it is readily available, becomes the order of the day – hence obesity. In famished obesity, there is an agonizing fear of want and impoverishment, as an escape-root, the person becomes psychologically and mentally dependent of food, there is binge eating whenever food is available. Food now becomes his refuge to overcome the fear of a possible food scarcity. The person now indulges in over consumption – hence obesity.
So now in Nigeria despite recession, the two types of obesity are wrecking havoc in our population. The worst part is that the victims of the two stages of obesity, do not even realize that they have become psychologically and emotionally addicted to food.
I want to sound a note of warning. If you latch on to excess food as an escape to economic strangulation, your excessive mass of protoplasm will tell the story in form of morbidity for your obesity, and your heart will call the result in a short time. My duty is simple here, to help you not to commit suicide with food.
Listen, I have stated ad nauseam that you do not become obese on water. It is like, to paraphrase a popular computer quote – “garbage in, obesity out”. You become obese by over consumption.
Do you know what forced me to re-visit obesity. It was my encounter with two ladies that were close me, whom I had not met for more than two years. One my sister-in-law, the other my daughters God mother. I just pray they will not read this. I was shocked to my bone marrow by the levels of their obesity. With the usual lame excuses ‘doc I hardly eat much, I eat once a day, I do not know what is making me fat’. Humbug, balder dash. Let me repeat, please one cannot get fat on water
The irony, was that these two people, had been complaining to me for more than a year over the phone, that they were facing serious economic crunches, and needed bailouts.  My questions to them, and to others who are also obese, “if you could be this obese, when you were facing economic strangulation. Then if things normalize, you could become so obese, that we have to break down your doors to have access to you, like that Egyptian lady, that was rescued through a broken door, and flown to India. She weighed 660kg and has now lost 210kg after the obesity operation.
The one million question – as was asked and published in Pharmanews on June 26, 2016. Is overweight and obesity becoming an African nay Nigeria problem? Down the years obesity has been thought as a condition more pronounced in developed nations, but the present rate of overweight in Nigeria has become very alarming, as reported by World Health Organization (WHO) survey last year. The prevalent rate for obesity in Nigeria is 26% for men and 37% for women. So generally women are more obese than men by 8.1%. I hope our women are listening.
To fight obesity what you must guard against
The extra bottle of beer, the extra glass of wine. The extra spoons of rice, beans, spaghetti, macaroni. The extra plate of garri, amala, tuwo dawa, pounced yam. The extra beef, chicken, fish, egg etc that we consume, when we should have stopped. The in between snacks and meal that we nibble, all add up to wreck havoc on our weight.
Yes, there may be factors that researchers have shown that predisposed  to obesity – example genetic causes, excessive poor diet, lifestyle, medications, endocrine factors – but the ultimate decision for obesity is YOU. Cut down on all consumables.
What is our take this week?
If you are overweight or obese, next time you want to put anything into your mouth, ask a question “do I really need this, am I hungry, and is the quantity right?” If you get one ‘no’ – drop it. If you get three ‘yes’ then consume a moderate quantity. In six months to one year, your weight will give you the good news. Be very properly guided by your weight.

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June 2018
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