Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Unlike other nations, overweight women prized in culture where starvation is ongoing problem

It's hard to believe that with the negative stigma attached with obesity inmost western cultures that in some places plump, overweight women are viewed as status symbols. In nations such as India and Pakistan, where many go to bed hungry every night, being overweight is seen as a badge of prosperity. Many female Pakistani movie stars tip the scale at 300 pounds plus. In the West African nation of Mauritania, many women are force-fed in order to attract a spouse . in a perverse substitute of the standard western ideal.

Many Mauritanian women are pushed to dangerous lengths by taking pills that are not fit for human consumption.

Many Mauritanian women are pushed to dangerous lengths by taking pills that are not fit for human consumption.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Mauritania, obesity, force feeding, hormone pills, women, marriage


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Many Mauritanian women are fattened up "like foie gras geese" and ingest dangerous animal growth hormones to satisfy local men's love for larger ladies. The self-inflected obesity crisis here is putting the lives of women at risk.

The nation of Mauritania, between the Western Sahara and Senegal, women are encouraged to fatten up from childhood in order to be considered attractive. A fat wife is desirable here, a sign of wealth and prestige in a country where food is in short supply.

Many Mauritanian women are pushed to dangerous lengths by taking pills that are not fit for human consumption.

U.S. journalist Thomas Morton was sent to Mauritania was sent to Mauritania for the HBO miniseries "Vice." He was pushed far beyond a mere reporting role as he also had to eat the diet of the Mauritanian women and take the pills they took to see what impact it had on his health.
Girls are fattened up from the age of eight by their families in a practice referred to as "gavage," a French word that means force feeding and is used to describe the fattening of geese.

Girls of a marriageable age are then sent to "fat camps" in the desert where they are fed 15,000 calories a day.

Girls have breadcrumbs soaked in olive oil washed down with camel's milk. They then have frequent meals throughout the day of goat's meat, bread, figs and couscous, all with more camel milk to drink.

Many refer to the over-eating as torture. Parents have been known to crush their daughters' toes with pincers if they resist.

Morton put on nearly a stone in two days and was left feeling bloated and unhealthy. "Women can't have children because of this type of gavage. The big problem is this often leads to heart failure, repeated heart attacks, rare are the ones who escape.

"It feels like the food has filled my entire chest cavity and is now deflating my lungs.'

Mauritanian women have found another way to gain weight that's easier to stomach but just as damaging to their health - taking pills.

"Medication is the modern form of gavage. Women use steroids and they are taking pills made from birds. These pills are not meant to be used by humans," one local woman told Morton:

The women said the animal growth hormones end up giving the women who take them a disproportionate body shape with a big stomach, face and breasts but thin arms and legs. "The person now looks more like a seal than a human being."

The technique has a wide variety of dangerous side effects from infertility to heart failure.

"Women can't have children because of this type of gavage. The big problem is this often leads to heart failure, repeated heart attacks, rare are the ones who escape. There are consequences - diseases, malformations and insanity," the woman told Morton.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Africa

Has Ebola gone airborne? Fears spread that virus could mutate Watch

Image of The World Health Organization has reported that the West African outbreak of Ebola has caused 2,500 deaths since it began in early 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Concerns have been raised that the federal government is anticipating a rapid spread of the Ebola virus, as evidenced by the U.S. State Department ordering 160,000 hazmat suits. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Market Watch posted a press release in which ... continue reading


Obama declares war on Ebola! 3,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers head to Liberia Watch

Image of 3,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines are going to be sent to Liberia to help stop the current Ebola outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of U.S. troops will arrive in the West African nation of Liberia as part of President Barack Obama's response to the Ebola outbreak that is wreaking havoc in the region. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "U.S. Africa Command will set up a Joint Force ... continue reading


Traditional methods of fighting disease are not working in West Africa Watch

Image of Health workers transport the body of an Ebola victim wrapped in a plastic bag. Ebola victims are burned in the bags they're collected in.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which continues to ravage countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, has so far proved resistant to traditional methods of combating epidemics, notably contact tracing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lt. Rebecca Levine, ... continue reading


STUDY: Ebola outbreak could shortly infect surrounding African nations Watch

Image of Bats are being blamed for the transmission of the Ebola virus -- adding to the urgency is the fact that bats are eaten, frequently raw, in parts of Africa.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The organ-melting virus known as Ebola tearing through West Africa will most likely grow to infect other African nations, according to a worrisome new study. According to research by the University of Oxford, the deadly virus threatens to spread - not necessarily ... continue reading


Some people have all the luck! $13 million diamond found in South Africa Watch

Image of This 232.08-carat  diamond has been unearthed at the Cullinan mine in South Africa and has a possible value of nearly $13 million.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 232.08-carat D color Type II diamond has been unearthed at a mine in South Africa, with a possible value of nearly $13 million. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The diamond was found at Cullinan mine owned by Petra Diamonds.You can be a light in the darkness ... continue reading


The terror grows: Islamic State created in Maghreb and Sahel region Watch

Image of The chief terrorist leader in the Maghreb and Sahel regions is

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

A version of the dreaded Islamic State - which has seized large sections of both Iraq and Syria, subjecting its citizens to terrorist rule - has now been created in both the Maghreb and the Sahel. A meeting held last month in the Ubira region of Libya laid out ... continue reading


Boko Haram carving out heinous 'caliphate' in Nigeria Watch

Image of Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau declared Gwoza, a town near the Cameroon border an Islamic-ruled enclave last month. He made the proclamation in a video showing his fighters running amok, firing in all directions and killing captives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group has been following the lead of Islamic State, going from Nigerian village to village to massacre and then preach radical Islam. Survivors from town seized in the northeast part of Nigeria have told horror stories of ... continue reading


African peacekeepers in Somalia routinely rape, pay women for sex Watch

Image of Human Rights Watch has released a shocking new report entitled

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

African Union peacekeepers in Somalia are there to keep people safe and prevent anything untoward from happening, but alas, this is not the case. There are more and more horrific accounts of these peacekeepers raping and paying women for sex. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


WHO warns that Liberia faces extinction by Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of Aid workers in protective clothing treat a woman infected with the Ebola virus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa-the worst in recorded history-jumped by almost 200 in one day, bringing the total to at least 2,296 deaths the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on September 9. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Gambia passes anti-gay legislation that threatens life imprisonment Watch

Image of Gambia's president Yahya Jammeh, a ruthless autocrat who has made numerous anti-west speeches and threatened to kill all homosexuals within the country, is known for his anti-gay stance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Gambia has passed a bill that punishes homosexuals by imposing a sentence of life imprisonment, worsening the climate for sexual minorities within Africa's most anti-gay nations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bill that amended the criminal code was passed ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:31--13:13
31 Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:31-35
31 'What comparison, then, can I find for the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 17th, 2014 Image

St. Robert Bellarmine
September 17: Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter