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Fast Food, Fast Life, Fast Lane-Die Quick!   
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Doesn’t it bother you that one in every three persons in Accra above the age of 40 is hypertensive? For me, it does! A recent report by the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) attributes this to urbanization.

Remember the days when we called diabetes and hypertension the rich man’s diseases? Indeed it was. Some few years ago, it was not common to drive your own private car, eat from a restaurant, sit for long hours in air-conditioned offices and drink coffee to keep warm. Today, that is actually the norm, improved economic conditions among the middle class has resulted in more luxury and less activity. Ever walked the stair case lately? Did you notice the way you were panting and gasping for breath? Aha! That’s what I mean. More elevators in public buildings are making our lives easier but it’s also limiting us from ‘induced exercises’.

Urbanization has caught up with us, our lifestyles are changing, our tastes and preferences are advancing. You must be ‘quick/fast’ to meet the demands of every urban city. Quick Service! Is more preferred to Quality Service! Quick Fix! Fast Food! Fast Cars! Fast Lanes! Everything is fast. Master, ‘Abrabo’ has become soo fast that, people are even sleeping less and less time for recreation. So, to catch up, you must be fast. Eat fast, drive fast and care less for your health’s needs-this is where we are today and it is actually going to be worst as we aspire to become a developed economy. That’s why people can’t afford to go the gym or join a health club.

We are eating to please only the taste buds; more salts, more sugar, more fat, more pork chops, more oily chicken, more seasonings, more alcohol, more ‘smoke’, more of virtually everything. We are growing weaker and weaker by the day. What even bothers me are the ages of these people who fill the drinking bars today; young people drinking all manner of what they call “cocktails” a mixture of every alcoholic beverage on sight. In the end they shatter their kidneys and livers before they know it. We are neglecting all our healthy meals of fresh vegetables to ‘urbanized’ junk food made of nothing but fat, fat and more fat! People have no energy these days and to make up for it, they take in all kinds of supplements; pills, energy drink and more pills, before you know… 911!

This was partly my motivation for writing the “bicycle lane” story. We cannot do anything about the urbanization and its demand on our lifestyle…after all man must eat. What we can do is find smarter ways of exercising. Avoiding the late night eating, eat healthy meals, do some aerobics in your room and cut the excesses. We can induce exercises among our working class if can encourage some ridding of bicycles within some convenient distances. City Authorities must also care about this story and ask themselves this question; how do we make our city dwellers healthy? If they start with this question, things would start falling in place. At the level of management, something can be done. Encourage some exercises in the offices. For instance, declare a week of ‘no-elevator’ and let staff walk up and down the stair to induce some exercise. Thankfully, the offices of NPA have no elevator and walking up and down the three storey stair case is helping staff to exercise. It may not be a deliberate strategy but it’s helping staff to get some exercise.

Management can also draw a Physical Exercise (PE) rota for staff and subsidize gym fees to encourage staff to go get some exercise. Also at the workplace, management can create ‘fruits break” for staff-where fruits would be served at least once a day, either before/after lunch to boost the health of employees. This would make employees healthy and fit. After all, employees are the greatest assets of every organization. In addition to these, the report by KATH calls on the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to undertake some public education on how people can stay healthy.

Besides all these, YOU, I mean YOU even have the utmost responsibility to stay healthy. Just as Paul said in Philippians 2:12, 13; “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”.


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