4 strategic ways to kill Obesity & Heart Attack + Why Nigerian elites fall and die while jogging

A team of Heart Treatment Experts at Tristate Heart Foundation, Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State-Nigeria

stroke, the conditions that lead to heart attack develop over time. However,
unlike hypertension which leads to stroke, conditions that precede heart attack
are usually well pronounced. 
Unfortunately, the tell-tale conditions of impending heart attack in
those who are at risk are often neglected, usually as a result of lack of
knowledge or because most people tend to think that it cannot happen to them.

of heart attack primarily involves avoiding the condition in which the arteries
that supply blood to the heart, the coronary arteries, become narrowed by
deposition of fatty material inside the vessels.  When the coronary arteries are narrowed, they
suffer some damage in the process and adequate amount of blood can no longer
reach heart muscles, especially during physical or psychological exaction.  This condition, known as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), may ultimately lead to heart
attack.  If however someone has already
developed CAD, steps can be taken to avoid heart attack.  The steps for preventing the development of
CAD are virtually the same as those for preventing heart attack.

‘An ounce of prevention is worthier than a pound of cure’

common saying is that “an ounce of prevention is worthier than a
of cure”.  There is
hardly any other situation in which the above saying applies more than the
issue of heart attack. This is particularly so because once coronary arteries
have been damaged by deposition of bad cholesterol in their walls, the
condition cannot be completely reversed. 
There is really no alternative to prevention of CAD if anyone does not
want to be a candidate for heart attack, especially with the level of medical
technology in Nigeria.  As noted earlier, the conditions that lead to
CAD are conditions that anyone can choose to avoid.  Four of them are particularly relevant for
mention here, and they are:
The overweight of

When your trouser starts fighting your belly, you are in it

issue of overweight and how it leads to hypertension and CAD has been discussed
earlier.  If you do not want to develop
coronary heart disease, you must avoid over weight or the so-called big man belle. It is not that big man
causes CAD per se; big man
is a common evidence of overweight, especially in men.  The so-called evidence of good living is
actually a passport for heart attack sooner or later. When overweight, every
additional pound you gain is a step closer to coronary heart disease and
eventual heart attack.
avoid overweight in the first place, you have to eat in moderation, no matter
the food type; that is whether protein, carbohydrates or fat.  We noted earlier that the body ultimately
converts all food types to fat for storage and eventual weight gain if we eat
more than what our body requires.  The
watchword against overweight therefore is “moderation
consumption”. The irony about
weight gain is that the more weight one gains, the sharper the person’s
appetite becomes and the more effective his/her digestion. As a result, the
hungrier the person becomes generally. Consequently, the person who is gaining
weight has the tendency to feel that he or she does not eat plenty, especially
given the large appetite that always remains unmet.  This is one reason why weight loss or weight
control is not always easy for those who have gained or are gaining weight.
excessive calorie intake can be avoided or controlled while ensuring a full
stomach by including plenty of vegetables and fruits as part of
every meal. In addition to helping us minimize the calorie intake by providing
bulk, vegetables and fruits help a great deal to prevent constipation and
associated complications like piles, which are common as age advances.  Generally, plenty of vegetables and fruits
are very important for our overall health for various reasons, including the
fact that they are sources of vitamins and mineral salts which are vital for
overall good health and wellbeing.
those who want to control their weight, it is recommended that at least
one-third of each meal should comprise of vegetables and fruits.  Fortunately, nature has blessed us with a
variety of vegetables and fruits but traditionally, many of us do not
appreciate these very important dietary needs.
tendency is for many Nigerians to
think of fruits and vegetables as food for children if not less, a point that
was graphically made by my elder brother when I tried to discuss the issue with
him.  My brother, the headmaster in our
village school, literally jeered at me that pawpaw was for puppies
and perhaps children (not adults) when I tried to convince him of the
importance of vegetables and fruits as part of diet.  Even if my brother’s view is considered
rather extreme, the fact is that vegetables and fruits are not considered as
part of a meal in many Nigerian cultures and may be regarded as an unnecessary
indulgence even by many middle class Nigerians.
Sources of Obesity et

Nigerian Billionaire Business Man, Mike Adenuga is big and influential

has already been made clear that people gain weight as a result of the food
they eat.  There is nothing like “weight gain without eating” or that one
is simply naturally fat.  Even if one has
the potentials for fatness, the person must eat enough food to enable weight
gain and become fat.  Some people may be
more prone to weight gain than others, but the only way people gain weight is
by eating more food than their bodies require. 
So, what you eat and how much you eat determine your weight gain or
otherwise.  Eating plenty of food, such
as fat, that contains a lot of calories is likely to bring about rapid weight
gain.  By the same token, even if you
avoid fat and eat only low calorie foods but a lot more than your body
requires, you will equally gain weight.
brings us to a common mistake that many people make when they eat a lot of
protein foods.  In error, such people
think that foods like eggs, meat, and fish which contain less fat and
carbohydrates would not make them fat. 
The fact is that any food type – proteins, carbohydrates or fat – that
is consumed more than what the body requires is changed to glucose or body sugar for use as energy or changed to fat for
storage if more than needed for energy. It is only in the form of fat that
excess food can be stored in the body. 
That means that any food, irrespective of the type, that is eaten in
excess of what the body needs will lead to weight gain.
appetite and digestive efficiency tend to increase with weight gain.  Consequently, anyone who is gaining weight
tends to eat more and feel hungrier at the same time.  As a result, such a person usually does not
realize how much he or she eats; the person tends to feel as eating only very
little, simply because of the associated increased appetite and accelerated
digestive effectiveness.  Such people are
more likely to eat heavier meals, more often, and thereby gain more
weight.  Hence it takes a lot of will
power and determination to stop weight gain or lose weight.  It is therefore easier to prevent than
control weight gain.
often, weight gain is not from the main meals we eat but from rather insensitive sources, ways that most
people do not realize.  One of the most
important of such insensitive sources of weight gain is snacks. As people eat
bits and pieces of snacks, they do not realize that they are amassing lots of
calories.  With snacks, some people tend
to eat almost round the clock.  Anyone
who does not want to gain weight or really wants to lose weight should
eliminate snacks as a first step.  You
will be surprised how much weight can be gained or lost through snacks.
insensitive source of weight gain for many people is the habitual drinking of
soda and other soft drinks.  The average
bottle of mineral or soft drink contains over 200 calories.  Some people drink as many as five or more
bottles a day; so you can imagine how much calories the average mineral drinker
consumes per day.  People generally do
not consider soft drinks as sources of calories like food. The problem gets
even worse as many people get hooked on the caffeine and other additives in the
drinks.  Water is the best fluid for
drink, health-wise.  It does not deliver
unwanted extra calories and other health hazard, if pure.  You can drink as much water as you feel like
is another major source of weight gain. 
While carbohydrates and proteins deliver about four calories per gram,
alcohol provides over seven calories per gram, next to fat that provides over
none calories per gram. So, anytime you take alcohol in the form of beer, palm
wine or in some other form, remember that you are consuming a lot of calories
that can be converted to fat for weight gain. 
Hence after taking alcohol, people tend to lose appetite because it has
already delivered plenty of calories to the blood stream and men who regularly
drink beer or other form of alcohol develop the pot belle or big man belle fast.
 High Cholesterol is Highway to Death…

Late Mr. Oluwabunmi Adedayo a director of the famous Tasty Fried Chicken lived on the Big Size/Side before his demise couple of years back

direct road to heart attack to be avoided by all means is high level blood
cholesterol.  As already explained,
cholesterol is a kind of fat that is got mainly from animal source.  Bad cholesterol is easily deposited on the
inner walls of arteries, which leads to narrowing and blockage of arteries and
clotting of blood within vessels. This condition is particularly common and
injurious to the coronary arteries that supply blood to heart muscles.  High level blood cholesterol is therefore the
major road to heart attack. Someone may not necessarily be fat in order to have
high blood cholesterol.  That means that
your figure may be average and you have high level of blood cholesterol if you
indulge in eating plenty of animal foods, such as meat, eggs, cheese, sea foods like shrimps and lobsters.  Or you may be
naturally disposed to high blood cholesterol. 
Meat with plenty of fat, such
as pork and goat are particularly high in bad cholesterol.  Fish
oil is generally considered as low in bad cholesterol.
Sedentary Lifestyle
is Sedentary Death Sentence

Late Nigerian Head of State General Sani Abacha lived a sedentary lifestyle in the villa and passed away on June 8, 1998 at age 59

lifestyle is another habit that greatly contributes to heart attack among those
who are disposed.  We have already noted
that the Nigerian who has “made it”
tends to eat more, may become overweight and have less need and ability to
engage in physical exaction.  Deposition
of fat, especially bad cholesterol, on the inner lining of arteries, is
particularly rapid in those who live sedentary life, as opposed to those who
are physically active.  This may explain
one of the reasons why retired people who suddenly move from erstwhile active
to sedentary life are particularly prone to increased risk of severe
hypertension and heart attack.
helps the heart to work more vigorously, pump blood more forcefully, enhance
elasticity of the blood vessels and therefore reduce deposition of fat in the
arteries.  By exercising, people also
enhance their muscle tone and the flexibility of their joints.  They are able to sleep more and their mental
and physical health tends to improve considerably.  In other words, exercising routinely makes
people healthier and happier.
simple rule in nature is what you don’t use, you lose.  If anyone or part of the person remains idle,
that person or the part soon loses form and function.  Hence when anyone suffers a stroke, the half
of his body that is paralyzed, especially the affected arm and leg, soon
becomes thin and literally shriveled. 
Recent studies have shown that the brain mass of elderly people who
routinely exercise is significantly larger than those of the same age who
remain sedentary.  Those who exercise are
not only physically fit but also mentally and psychologically more effective;
they enjoy higher quality of life longer.

Nigerian Billionaire Jimoh Ibrahim (M) is on the Big Size/Side

who start and maintain exercising from early years, understandably derive
better results from exercising.  However,
lots of healthful advantages are gained by those who exercise routinely,
irrespective of age and time of commencement. 
A word of caution is however necessary here.  If you have given up exercising for a long period of time, it is not
advisable for you to suddenly engage in an exercise regimen.
is very important to get the medical doctor to give you a check up so as to
ensure that it is safe for you to engage in the type of exercise regimen you
plan to start.  People usually overrate
their physical prowess.  In fact, it is
difficult for anyone to realize how much he or she has physically depreciated
over the years, especially without routine exercise.  This point reminds me of a personal
experience that shows how easily we can underrate the depreciating impact of
time and lack of exercise on our physically ability.

The Body system & the main symptom of diabetes

my current return to New York after about ten years in Nigeria, I routinely took the bus to my
place of work.  One morning, I saw the
bus approaching from a distance and I tried to catch up by running a block of
houses, about two hundred yards.  To my
surprise, I could not run half the distance before I was breathless and forced
to stop, panting like someone who was half hanged.  The fact was that during the intervening
years when I lived like most “big men” do in Nigeria, I did not
engage in routinely and vigorously engage.
my organs gradually lost the resources to meet the challenge of more vigorous
exertion that running to catch the bus demanded.  This speaks to the well known fact in the
functioning of the human body as stated earlier: “use it or lose it”.  My systems had become used to functioning at
a level that was just enough to enable me carry out routine activities of daily
living.  They had lost the physiological
reserves that normally enable them to function beyond the routine. Hence I lost
my ability to engage in the level of physical exercise that was required to
effectively run the distance to catch the bus. 
That was beyond what my systems had become accustomed.

The blood movement in the body

was no way for me to know that my physical ability had depreciated that much
since I always felt as fit as usual.  I
was shocked to find that my physical ability had waned beyond the demands of
that simple exercise.  There have been
many cases where individuals suffered a severe injury or even a heart attack in
an attempt to perform an erstwhile simple physical activity or embark on an
exercise program after a long period of physical inactivity.  It is therefore particularly important to
have a medical check up before engaging in any exercise program.  You cannot be too careful in this regard.
when you have been cleared by your doctor to begin an exercise regimen, be
careful not to rush too fast into it. 
You must start slowly and gradually raise the tempo and length of your
exercise over a period of weeks, no matter the nature of the exercise.  For example, you might begin a jogging or
treadmill exercise by as slow as 2 to 3 kilometers per hour for about 10 to 15
minutes at a time.  As your body
gradually gets used to the strain, you can gradually increase your speed to the
strain, you can gradually increase your speed and length of time of each
exercise section.  As for my shocking
experience in realizing the level of my physical depreciation when I newly
returned to New York, I made it a point of duty to jog my way to and from
the bus.  The experience gave rise to my
gradual involvement in more vigorous routine exercise later.

Late Mr. Hakeem Shodeinde a budding Nigerian Night Life entrepreneur equally died as a result of bad diet. He lost his kidney and died after a transplant

is always the temptation to go vigorous and lengthen when you are motivated to
start an exercise regimen, especially as you may feel as energetic as you have
always been.  Perhaps, that is also an
attempt to convince oneself that one has not deteriorated physically.  There is the tendency for people to strain
themselves the first few occasions accompanied by body pains that can be so
severe that most enthusiastic exercise beginners give it up after a couple of
weeks or even days.  I know of many
people who left their treadmill machine to gather dust in an obscure corner of
the house after a couple of over ambitious efforts.

pains that almost invariably accompany the beginning of an exercise regimen are
as a result of microscopic tears in muscles and joints that have not been so
vigorously used for a long period of time. The advice is that apart from taking
it easy at the onset, some simple pain relievers like paracetamol should be
taken after each episode of exercise for about a week or two when post-exercise
pains usually recede.  And anytime you
feel concerned about the pains or anything else about your body during the
first few weeks of an exercise regimen, you should consult with your doctor
before continuing.  It may not
necessarily be something serious but consulting with the doctor will at least
allay unnecessary anxiety and prevent unanticipated severe side effect.

(From the Book; “Early and Sudden Death; the Price of
Affluence among Nigerians”.
Read “5 ways out of high cholesterol, tobacco &
tips for exercise” in our next post on Asabeafrika)