EnglishJapanese

#11 Is Cancer “Lifestyle diseases”??

2020 . 02 . 20

It was World Cancer Day on 4th of February, ( Sorry for late report.)
Cancer is a one of lifestyles diseases in Tonga.
Well, we call Japanese lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high presser, heart diseases 「Non Communicable Diseases(NCDs)」.
It’s different how we categorise them. Actually, what is the cause of diseases ??

Nowadays, cancer is growing in all of the world. It’s not except Tonga.
And Tongan people think it’s like diabetes. 83% of Tongan people are dies from NCDs, and 80% people are obesity or overweight that’s one cause of NCDs by World Health Organisation (WHO).

Well, Tongan body is not like a fatty of Japanese imagination ,they are large with big born and muscles .Honestly they are strong and tough not like “fatty with fat”.
However, I wonder how they change them body so big ,because many kids are very skinny.
And then, maybe form high school ,
(Normally around 13 to 18 years old students are in high school. But it’s different grades each high school and also not always start grade up , so it’s not sure.)
both of boys and girls are starting to become big and already some of them are enough size.

I wanted to make an opportunity for them to think about a life.
So I asked to do a world cancer day event at one of our high school , Tailulu College . It was include talking about cancer and NCDs from a hospital staff, talking about the reason of obesity from me with a poster and Zumba from a volunteer.

It was so successful! All students listened very well to NCDs talking and Obesity talking. At the end , we enjoyed a lot Zumba all together!!
How can we continue such a good mood !?

OK, I have another reason what I could satisfied to that event.
I could talk what I want to say since I was young in front of very young students and teachers who are always with them , here in Tonga !!

“We are what we eat.
When you become parents in the future, your children’s health will depend on what you ate and what you give . It’s on your hands.”

Diseases ,our body condition, a very very small mistake,,,,,all of them depend on your choice.
Not only food.
What we buy, where we go , laugh or cry or angry ,,,,
All of them are on our hands.

It’s no need to say , but if we will be out of sense ,we won’t forget about it.
Or, we might not think of it without teaching.

Tongan people continue to eat a lot every day even after they knew they are obesity.
I know a culture is different.,,,,
Even though they should think discipline or food education from childhood would relate with health problems.

「Kai ke lahi」( Eat a lot to become big)
and
「Eat until 80% of your stomach」
would give different consciousness.

Studying 3 colours balance diet eating well balanced school lunch
and
Being told ‘get healthy food’ eating one dollar snack
would rub different sense about food.

There are no school lunch during lunch time in Tonga.
Go buck to them house, wait them parents bringing food, get 1 dollar to buy Samosa or fried bread at a school or Some snack or drink at a shop….etc.
It’s very hard to think one habit from childhood something ‘bad’.
A lot of people continue to eat it just energy giving food.

My Tongan roommate is one of them.
She has a high academic background, thins junk-food is unhealthy, does exercises for a health . She is not a typical Tongan.
However, she often eats noodles, crackers, bread, and thin-fish.
She eats a lot of flower products saying it’s not healthy food but I love them.

We have a mount of nutritious root crops and plantains in Tonga. How pity she is!!
On the other side, i can’t stop to eat them especially fried chips .
Green bananas, Taro, Yam, Bread fruits, Sweet potatoes, Tapioca ,,,,
I also don’t think flying food is healthy , but I fly them when I ‘m lazy to cook.
She always says and laughs
「Look ! I don’t eat any healthy food ,too. It’s same as me.」

In addition, Fijian snack 「BONGO」is one of her favourite because she spent in Fiji when she was a child.
BONGO and my hand-made chips are totally same for her.
If I say BONGO is chemical, she asks me why I don’t care about chemicals for root crops. Nothing difference between them! Sometimes, even she doesn’t eat my chips but she go to buy BONGO.

It’s very important for me that I can see what is it, or how is it made like 「home-made」 or「 eat local」for not only body but also environment and social consumption. Even though talking with her gives it feeling tiny things.

Well, she thinks 「gene」makes us everything according to her study history.
So, she never listen to my pretences that ‘What we eat affect our gene over generation .“ or “ Health condition or diseases were from gene, food, tabac, drink, lifestyle, exercise,,,, everything will be influence.”
Not only her, I was said it from many Tongan people.

「We have different gene.」

We are big Tongan and small Japanese. It’s sure our gene is different.
However, I wonder why they still continue to insist gene cause to big body and want to escape from reality that many people eat too much.
It’s one of my Tongan mystery .
Because, Japanese include family history for lifestyle diseases.
That mean we should consider well what we can choose, I think.

Now, what do you think ??
Can we get something by own choice ??
Can we change our mind if social system or education system will change ??
OR Everything was decided already !?

Author ; Miki Kato