Lifestyle diseases affect elites mostly

Letters, Normal

The National, Wednesday, April 27, 2011

THE government’s stance on life­style diseases has never been an issue.
However, with the Anglimp-South Waghi MP so vocal on the issue of lifestyle diseases, the government has seen fit to sanction the parliamentary committee on health and family to tour the country and gauge  views from the wider section of the community on the proposal to ban lamb flaps.
However, it is my view that it is the elites who fall victim to lifestyle diseases and not many common people.
To qualify this, let us do a simple comparison between our elites and common people.
The former hardly do any physical exercise as they are either stationed in the office, house or car all day long and do not even bother to take a stroll down the street to burn out excess fat and build-up of sugar level in the body.
With their bellies hanging out, they already have the mentality of the big man/woman.
They find it embarrassing to walk on the streets and gasping for breath each time they have to go up a slight slope.
They are the ones who are the prime candidates for lifestyle illnesses, not the common people.
There is no evidence to substantiate that lamb flap is the main contributing factor to lifestyle diseases.
There are a host of other contributing factors but when looking at the nutritional value of lamb flaps, more than 50% of the content is fat and it is not ideal for human consumption.
Yet, our government remained ignorant and Papua New Guinea became a cheap dumping ground for lamb flaps and other items.
For the common people, lamb flaps are the cheapest source of protein.
On the contrary, they are not the only source of protein we rely on.
We have fish, beef, chicken and goat, just to name a few.
If the government is worried about lifestyle diseases affecting people in the prime of their life, there are ways to overcome them: 
* Device an aggressive public awareness programme for mass education;
* Empower line agencies to execute stringent measures on food qua­lity control (on all fast food outlets from preparation through to packing and display for sale and ensure quality is maintained throughout the entire process of food preparation); 
* Impose hefty licence fees and tougher penalties for those who fail to comply with the food standard; and 
* If there are evidence to prove lamb flaps cause lifestyle diseases, then impose a ban.
Unless the government takes some tough measures for the long-term betterment of the people, lifestyle diseases will continue to create havoc and deprive the resourceful elites who can drive this country forward.
All these may be hypothesis but there is no doubt lifestyle disease is threatening members of the elite club.
If the way forward to save the people of PNG by legalising a ban on lamb flaps by introducing legislation in parliament, then so be it.


Nickson Waiyo
Via email