The accused is further said to have cut the victim’s forefinger, an indication that he could do worse. He raped her and left....
Why cracking jokes about Uhuru's weight gain is in bad taste
President Uhuru has always had a boyish look, one that belies the 59 years he has lived since arriving on these shores at 11:10am on October 26, 1961 at Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi.
Being a President’s son, it is safe to assume that was the only time he was slapped by a stranger, and on the butt no less, who was paid for the effort.
From the time he came into the limelight as an adult, and right up to the time he was sworn in, the President has always been lean and lanky – his body frame swinging with that famous gait that rhymes with his easy going nature.
But later in his presidency, like every other middle aged man, he started to fill out. During one of the First Lady’s marathon runs, Deputy President William Ruto even light heartedly chided his boss, saying he needed to hit the gym.
In the last one year, his weight has increased exponentially and he seems more comfortable in loose shirts than his signature dark presidential suits.
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Kenyans have not failed to notice the change, except that when he was recently photographed looking curiously chubby faced and rather heavy in his upper torso, netizens tore into him with snide comments and memes that were a tad distasteful, wondering how the President dared “grow fat” when the country was heavily in debt.
Media personality Noella Mutanda, whose mom is still dealing with the after effects of a surgery and medication, was one of the Kenyans who thought joking about the President’s weight was in bad taste.
“I am seeing posts and receiving forwards of President Uhuru’s picture where he looks big and people are making fun. Please stop it. It is the most insensitive thing you can do. The struggle for health and life is real. And when at it, it does not matter if you are fat or thin,” she posted on Facebook.
And she is right. Experts say weight gain should neither be a matter of prestige or scorn because it could be a sign of underlying health issues.
Dr William Sigilai, a physician and endocrinologist in Nairobi, says that rapid weight gain can be due to inborn disorders, hormonal or as a result of using certain medicines.
Hypothyroidism, either after removal of the thyroid gland, due to a goitre or thyroiditis, an inflammatory disease of the thyroid can cause rapid weight gain.
“The metabolic rate in the body slows down,” he explains of hypothyroidism, “people become slow, the food not metabolised is stored as fat. In extreme cases, one can be bedridden.”
Luckily, he says the diagnosis of hypothyroidism is made early nowadays and people with the disease do not have to suffer long before treatment.
Another hormonal related weight gain is in a rare condition where the pituitary gland in the brain over stimulates the adrenal gland to produce cortisol. Tumours affecting the adrenal gland might also overproduce the cortisol.
“This causes a unique type of weight gain characterised by a moon face (round), upper body obesity and normal legs and arms,” he explains.
Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone that increases blood sugars and enhances the brain’s use of glucose. Low levels of cortisol can cause fatigue, weakness and low blood pressure.
This can also happen when one uses steroids either from over the counter or as prescribed by a doctor while treating another underlying condition. In such situations where the weight is due to steroids, the legs may be swollen. These are features of a Cushingoid appearance as a result of excess cortisol hormone.
Some medicines for say, managing diabetes, mental health conditions and contraceptives might also cause weigh gain.
“Some women can attest that after some oral pills or injectible contraceptives, they gained weight,” Dr Sigilai explains, adding that this kind of weight gain due to underlying conditions or use of medicines will not have any big differences between men and women.
Though the causes are varied, rapid weight gain poses a general threat to one’s health, from causing insulin intolerance and diabetes, high blood pressure and skin conditions such as thinning.
“There is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks, an increase in breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and joint disorders like arthritis,” offers Dr Sigilai.
The doc adds that obesity is now a health concern even in poor countries like Kenya.
“Parents should watch out what children eat while governments should invest in resources to identify and treat individuals whose weight gain is rapid,” he says.