Improve diets not to eat food for self-esteem

“I am a student of public health and in health perspective its right to eat traditional foods as they build our security organs and improve on the immunity. This is true for organic foods, unlike inorganic foods that have been modified. Look at a future trend as these foods are disappearing. What will happen to our health systems in the body? That is why we shall complain of heart diseases. We, as Iteso, eat eboo (peas leaves), groundnuts, among others, that improve eye sight, and many benefits. So, we need to improve on our dieting not to consume certain foods because of self-esteem. It only backfires when one gets a complicated illness that not even their money cannot help. Remember we live our lives once – emamei ecie odula (Ateso proverb meaning “there are no reserve human spear parts in the granary).””

Emmanuel Olupot in comment to “Going back to our roots.”

Iteso cuisine for lunch or supper – atap (millet or sorghum and cassava ugali) and esuswa (pumpkin leaves) in groundnuts sauce.

The irony cannot be missed that our world is now dealing with a highly infectious disease whose severity on each individual is apparently part determined by diet, And hence, some of the covid-19 management advice that we are getting is to boost our immunity through consumption of a particular diet.

Furthermore, you can imagine, for example, according to the Pallisa District Statistical Abstract for the year 2019/2020, among the most common diseases that are prevalent in Pallisa are those that are malnutrition related – over nutrition as well as under nutrition; and the consumption of contaminated food or water.

Among the top disease prevalent in Pallisa, according to the district abstract 2019/2020, are:

  • Diarrhoea Acute – the fourth most prevalent
  • Intestinal worms – the fifth most prevalent
  • Hypertension – the nineth most prevalent
  • Eye condition – the tenth most prevalent

I dare say that the situation in Pallisa isn’t at all unique and that other districts in Uganda are in a similar situation and in some cases, likely worse off.

We cannot ignore Olupot’s thesis that “we need to improve on our dieting not to consume certain foods because of self-esteem. It only backfires when one gets a complicated illness that not even their money cannot help.”

Iteso cuisine for breakfast – a cup of millet porridge and sweet bananas.

Join me in calling on the President, the newly sworn in Cabinet and the 11th Parliament to prioritize public health and human nutrition matters over and above other misdirected priorities in which we engage in as a nation. This we surely can manage. Thank you.


Featured photo: Iteso cuisine for lunch – atap (millet or sorghum and cassava ugali), akiring (beaf) and edodo or eboga (amaranth).

2 responses to “Improve diets not to eat food for self-esteem”

  1. I remembered when I was growing as a young boy, my grandfather (RIP) used to tell me about the benefits of eating our traditional vegetables (AKEO, ABUGA, ALAYU, BOJO ‘eboo’, MALAKWANG, ACWICA ‘pumpkin leaves’, BIRINYANYA ‘eggplant’, ETC). I was taught how to grow them and even cook. Modified & tinned/processed foods were rare in our village! In Uganda modified/processed foods are for the ‘rich’ and traditional local foods for the ‘poor’ but it’s the opposite in developed nations like US!


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