A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips

29 November 2019
Author   Clementine Tjameya
Do you ever have one of those days where you work late and are too tired to cook by the time you reach home? You definitely won’t want to go home and start speaking with your pots.
My guess is you will probably want to pop up at KFC, Pizza Inn or Debonairs and get some fast food on your way home. You will definitely drool over the smell of yummy chicken or pizza all the way home. Fast food has a salty yet delicious and creamy aroma that leaves your taste buds salivating.  But do you know that the effects of the chemicals, preservatives, trans fats, and sugars you are stuffing in your mouth will come back to haunt you?
Junk food is highly processed food that is high in calories but low in nutrients. Most times it is high in sugar, salts and saturated fats. Consistently eating such food leads to major weight gain and can cause a decline in your health.
Regularly feeding on junk food rather than nutritious, balanced meals is unhealthy. It overlooks the fact that what a person eats dictates their physical shape and condition. It can even affect how long they live. Hence the saying: “you are what you eat”, or as some people like to put it, “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”.
Many people believe this expression is a cliché, but it’s not. The effects of an unhealthy diet are clearly visible in both men and women. In women, fat makes its home in the lower abdomen, butt and the hips. In men, the fat tends to be deposited in the stomach, which creates a potbelly.
Most people are concerned about the physical effects junk food has on their weight. But it is also important to note that there are health effects as well.
The high levels of sugar, salts and saturated fats can steal years of your life. We hear of a lot of people who are dying from health conditions like hypertension, diabetes and strokes. Do we ever think that maybe a large percentage of these cases are a result of poor diets? Saturated fats in junk food clog arteries. This, in turn, causes a reduction in blood flow. And in the long run, this results in chronic life-threatening conditions.
Regular junk food consumption has unfavourable side-effects on our health. The faster we accept this fact, the faster we can reduce the amounts we eat or cut it out of our diets completely. I know we all have cravings most times, especially when we are stressed. We often have comfort food to eat when we feel low. Most of these kinds of snacks are unhealthy. But we shouldn’t give in to such cravings consistently.
Colleen Hoover, in one of her novels, Verity, stated that taking care of your body is the same as raising a child. When a child is crying, most mothers are too quick to comfort them with candy and sugar-packed cookies: “Why are you crying baby? Do you want some candy and cookies? Here, you can have as many as you like.”
We do this because we believe that when it comes to children, there is nothing candy and cookies can’t fix. This might true, but do we know that the sugar we are allowing our children to eat will have negative impacts on them? The child will suffer from tooth decay, early obesity and other health and behavioural problems when candy is the main feature on their menu.
Making sure to keep your diet clean is tough, but it is rewarded when you see the good it does to your body and health. A healthy body breeds a happier spirit!


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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