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Skinny people at elevated risk of heart diseases

People assume that if you are skinny, you are healthy- people only get diabetes if they’re overweight or obese. Right? Well, no. No matter how thin you are, you can still get heart diseases.

Many recent studies show that cardiovascular diseases are also experienced by individuals who are underweight; they are more at risk than people of a normal body mass index value. Cardiovascular diseases are influenced by a lot of factors other than excessive weight.
A person is classified as underweight if his or her Body Mass Index BMI value is less than 18.5. a lack of weight can be caused by malnutrition, infection or genetics.

Keep in mind that overweight and obesity are not the only conditions that can cause cardiovascular disease, which is in fact generally caused by an unhealthy lifestyle characterised by smoking, a lack of physical activity, or a high intake of fat or salt, which gives rise to high blood pressure and fat deposition around the veins and heart. Skinny people are at risk. Many recent studies show that underweight people also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, and that they are at a greater risk than those with a normal BMI value.

A study from Bali shows that underweight people are 3.6 times more likely to experience coronary heart disease than those of normal weight. If the coronary artery is affected, underweight individuals are at greater risk of an early death than those who are either of normal weight or overweight. Research shows that women with coronary artery disease are twice as likely as their healthy counterparts to die early. It also shows that for overweight individuals who are not in the process of gaining weight, the risk of death related to the coronary artery drops by 64 per cent.

Meanwhile, underweight people who are still losing weight are at an increased risk of death. Causes that may lead to cardiovascular diseases in people who are underweight are congenital heart disease, which is indicated by a low heart function due to disorder of the valve’s wall and the heart’s arteries. Based on research, people with congenital heart disease and low body weight are 12 times more at risk of cardiovascular disease.

There is a tendency of no physical activity with people who are underweight. Physical activity is one way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A lack of physical activity, on the other hand, can cause fat deposition in the blood that can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Further, it was noted that it is easy to have low body fat and having unhealthy eating habits, and underweight people tend to not worry about consuming fast food and failing to strike a balance. Even though it may not immediately show in their body, they may still have an elevated blood sugar level. So, low body fat with unhealthy eating habit has been proved to be one of the causes of cardiovascular disease in underweight people.

Furthermore, research underlined that a condition known as central obesity is not uncommon in people with low body weight. Compared evenly distributed fat, people who have fat around the abdomen are more at risk of cardiovascular disease than those with regular obesity. It was indicated that lack of haemoglobin serum is also one of the conditions that cause heart disease. This condition is higher in people who are underweight.

Research in Ethiopia showed that the haemoglobin level can significantly affect heart failure and that a normal level of its serum reduced the risk of heart failure by 23 per cent. Body weight is not the only cause of cardiovascular diseases. Overall body health, along with your diet and physical activity, are things one needs to pay attention to in order to maintain a healthy heart and blood vessels, regardless of whether you are underweight, normal or overweight.

Meanwhile, according to World Health Organization WHO, the world today has more obese than underweight people. A staggering 1.9 billion adults around the world are currently carrying excess weight as the obesity epidemic continues to spread. In addition, 340 million children of school age and 41 million children below the age of five years are also overweight and obese, and this was said by Dr Leanne Riley, team leader for surveillance of non-communicable diseases at the WHO.

‘’Sadly, the figures are even worse in the UAE, with the prevalence of overweight and obese schoolchildren in the UAE being roughly double the global prevalence. One in every three school-age children is obese or overweight, and 17 per cent of schoolchildren are known to be obese’’ Dr Riley said. According to experts, there are more people in the world today carrying excess weight than underweight people, and this has happened for the first time in human history.

Not only are nearly two billion adults carrying excess weight but 650 million of them are obese, and the prevalence of obesity has tripled in the last four decades. ‘’Obesity is spreading like wildfire across the world, and the Gulf region has proved to be particularly susceptible. By implementing a comprehensive obesity prevention and management plan, combating obesity stigma, making healthy food available and providing safe spaces to exercise, we can stop the epidemic from spiralling out of control’’ said Dr Ian Caterson, President of the World Obesity Federation.

The WHO has already set targets of a zero increase in the proportion of overweight children internationally by 2025, and of halting the rise in prevalence of diabetes and obesity among adolescents and adults by the same period. To that end, experts commended the UAE’s implementation of a 50 per cent tax on sugary drinks, a move which is seen as the first step towards combating the scourge of excess weight and unhealthy eating.

‘’We know that multi-sector engagement is key to achieving our goal, and we have a number of initiatives aimed at improving nutritional standards, enhancing the urban environment and even measuring the impact of the taxon sugary drinks’’ Dr Farida Al Hosani, Director of Communicable Diseases at the Abu Dhabi Department of Health said.

For his part, Dr Doug Betcher, Head of Non-Communicable Diseases at the World Health Organization, stressed that the environment itself should support the fight against obesity. ‘’The environment cannot be obesogenic in a way that promotes sedentary lifestyles and the consumption of high-calorie diets. We must also encourage more childhood activity and effective weight management in primary health acre settings’’ he said.

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Government sitting on 4 400 vacant posts

14th September 2020
(DPSM) Director Goitseone Naledi Mosalakatane

Government is currently sitting on 4 400 vacant posts that remain unfilled in the civil service. This is notwithstanding the high unemployment rate in Botswana which has been exacerbated by the recent outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Just before the burst of COVID-19, official data released by Statistics Botswana in January 2020, indicate that unemployment in Botswana has increased from 17.6 percent three years ago to 20.7 percent. “Unemployment rate went up by 3.1 percentage between the two periods, from 17.6 to 20.7 percent,” statistics point out.

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FNBB projects deeper 50 basis point cut for Q4 2020

14th September 2020
Steven Bogatsu

Leading commercial bank, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), expects the central bank to sharpen its monetary policy knife and cut the Bank Rate twice in the last quarter of 2020.

The bank expects a 25 basis point (bps) in the beginning of the last quarter, which is next month, and another shed by the same bps in December, making a total of 50 bps cut in the last quarter.  According to the bank’s researchers, the central bank is now holding on to 4.25 percent for the time being pending for more informed data on the economic climate.

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Food suppliers give Gov’t headache – report

14th September 2020
Food suppliers give Gov’t headache

An audit of the accounts and records for the supply of food rations to the institutions in the Northern Region for the financial year-ended 31 March 2019 was carried out. According to Auditor General’s report and observations, there are weaknesses and shortcomings that were somehow addressed to the Accounting Officer for comments.

Auditor General, Pulane Letebele indicated on the report that, across all depots in the region that there had been instances where food items were short for periods ranging from 1 to 7 months in the institutions for a variety of reasons, including absence of regular contracts and supplier failures. The success of this programme is dependent on regular and reliable availability of the supplies to achieve its objective, the report said.

There would be instances where food items were returned from the feeding centers to the depots for reasons of spoilage or any other cause. In these cases, instances had been noted where these returns were not supported by any documentation, which could lead to these items being lost without trace.

The report further stressed that large quantities of various food items valued at over P772 thousand from different depots were damaged by rodents, and written off.Included in the write off were 13 538 (340ml) cartons of milk valued at P75 745. In this connection, the Auditor General says it is important that the warehouses be maintained to a standard where they would not be infested by rodents and other pests.

Still in the Northern region, the report noted that there is an outstanding matter relating to the supply of stewed steak (283×3.1kg cans) to the Maun depot which was allegedly defective. The steak had been supplied by Botswana Meat Commission to the depot in November 2016.

In March 2017 part of the consignment was reported to the supplier as defective, and was to be replaced. Even as there was no agreement reached between the parties regarding replacement, in 51 October 2018 the items in question were disposed of by destruction. This disposal represented a loss as the whole consignment had been paid for, according to the report.

“In my view, the loss resulted directly from failure by the depot managers to deal with the matter immediately upon receipt of the consignment and detection of the defects. Audit inspections during visits to Selibe Phikwe, Maun, Shakawe, Ghanzi and Francistown depots had raised a number of observations on points of detail related to the maintenance of records, reconciliations of stocks and related matters, which I drew to the attention of the Accounting Officer for comments,” Letebele said in her report.

In the Southern region, a scrutiny of the records for the control of stocks of food items in the Southern Region had indicated intermittent shortages of the various items, principally Tsabana, Malutu, Sunflower Oil and Milk which was mainly due to absence of subsisting contracts for the supply of these items.

“The contract for the supply of Tsabana to all depots expired in September 2018 and was not replaced by a substantive contract. The supplier contracts for these stocks should be so managed that the expiry of one contract is immediately followed by the commencement of the next.”

Suppliers who had been contracted to supply foodstuffs had failed to do so and no timely action had been taken to redress the situation to ensure continuity of supply of the food items, the report noted.

In one case, the report highlighted that the supplier was to manufacture and supply 1 136 metric tonnes of Malutu for a 4-months period from March 2019 to June 2019, but had been unable to honour the obligation. The situation was relieved by inter-depot transfers, at additional cost in transportation and subsistence expenses.

In another case, the contract was for the supply of Sunflower Oil to Mabutsane, where the supplier had also failed to deliver. Examination of the Molepolole depot Food Issues Register had indicated a number of instances where food items consigned to the various feeding centres had been returned for a variety of reasons, including food item available; no storage space; and in other cases the whole consignments were returned, and reasons not stated.

This is an indication of lack of proper management and monitoring of the affairs of the depot, which could result in losses from frequent movements of the food items concerned.The maintenance of accounting records in the region, typically in Letlhakeng, Tsabong, and Mabutsane was less than satisfactory, according to Auditor General’s report.

In these depots a number of instances had been noted where receipts and issues had not been recorded over long periods, resulting in incorrect balances reflected in the accounting records. This is a serious weakness which could lead to or result in losses without trace or detection, and is a contravention of Supplies Regulations and Procedures, Letebele said.

Similarly, consignments of a total of 892 bags of Malutu and 3 bags of beans from Tsabong depot to different feeding centres had not been received in those centres, and are considered lost. These are also not reflected in the Statement of Losses in the Annual Statements of Accounts for the same periods.

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