On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Sierra Leone News: Africa Notebook

America’s east coast was suddenly swatted with heavy snow that blocked many from going about their daily chores. It was late in coming but the snow closed businesses, halted church services and gospel meetings and slowed commuter traffic to snail’s pace. Many were out shoveling snow to clear a path to their homes and children built snow effigies for fun. Weather predictions are not encouraging and the warnings are out that more heavy snowfalls are on the way. So far, everywhere is as silent as a graveyard with the occasional distant cry of stranded birds and the eerie sounds of foxes searching for warm dens to escape howling winds and the raging cold. Many wives say they now see their husbands staying home more than before. “If possible, I wish the snow would never stop so the children could be with their dad more often,” one wife said. January is the bitterest of months for winter and the heating bills soar until snow melt sometime around April, if Mother Nature so decides. The most recent bit of research shows that for children younger than 24-months, drinking lots of fruit juice can be harmful. For kiddies, it’s a yummy, yummy liquid but the liquid fills their tiny stomachs and ruins their appetite for food that contains needed nutrients and calories. For health professionals, babies under six-months shouldn’t drink juice until after their first birthday. Obviously, breastfeeding exclusively for the first six-months has become almost mandatory and continued suckling for up to a year longer. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more people now die from obesity than from being underweight. Although on the world scale, hunger remains a significant problem, it’s our appetite for food that’s more likely to flatten us out. WHO says there are approximately 1.6 billion overweight or obese people in the world with Americans making up a sizeable chunk. What does one expect with apple pies, Kentucky fried chicken, McDonalds, endless buffets – all measured to tip the scale upwards. Perhaps the Pacific countries have found a way to deal with obesity. Passengers traveling by Air Pacific are weighed and charged fares according to their registered weight. The plump and fat pay more than the few skinny ones. Finland remains the country most aware of the dangers of obesity. It’s public health campaign educated the citizen about diet, exercise and the dangers of smoking adding ten years more to the average life of the population. Interestingly, 72% of Americans have tried to lose weight but women have done better than men – 85% against 59%. 51% of American women wish their husbands were thinner while 47% of married American men wish likewise. Interestingly, the country where husbands want their wives to lose weight is India where 48% admit to being dissatisfied with the shape of their spouse. American men come right behind their Indian counterparts – 47% wish for just a little less of their wives.
Most Americans feel that food is just irresistible but dodgingly blame their weight on a lack of exercise. In the United States, being overweight is harder on women. Life in these United States: “The case of a farm worker in Arizona who was overpaid the previous week. The following week, the over-payment was deducted and he complained bitterly to the accountant. The accountant said, “when you were overpaid, you did not complain but now you are complaining when the amount is deducted.”

Thought for the week: A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.


By Rod Mac-Johnson

Monday January 21, 2019.

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