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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Africa

Beaten to death and set on fire, Nigerian girl accused of being a Boko Haram suicide bomber Watch

Image of A second suspected teenage girl, also accused of being a suicide bomber was later arrested at the Muda Lawal market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Suspected of being a suicide bomber with Boko Haram, a teenage girl was beaten to death, and then set on fire in a Nigerian vegetable market. A second suspected teenage girl, also accused of being a suicide bomber was later arrested at the Muda Lawal market, ... continue reading


Cease-fire agreement promises hope to war torn Mali Watch

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

A peace deal has been signed in Mali, potentially bringing an end to a war which has devastated the west African nation for years. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - A representative of the Azawad independence movement, Bilal Ag Cherif, met with a representative ... continue reading


Red Cross report: You won't believe what Boko Haram is doing now Watch

Image of While many African nations have joined an international military force to fight Boko Haram, the Islamist group is far from defeat and still extremely dangerous.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

The war against the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has claimed a new front line, centering on the city of Diffa on the Nigerian border. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - The city's population continues to suffer under the Islamist group's draconian rules, and ... continue reading


American missionary kidnapped from Christian school in Africa Watch

Image of Reverend Phyllis Sortor had been working as a missionary in Africa for the past decade.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An American Christian missionary in central Nigeria was kidnapped from Hope Academy, according to the website of the Free Methodist Church. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Early this morning we received a report that Reverend Phyllis Sortor, our missionary in ... continue reading


7-year-old child suicide bomber kills seven in Nigeria Watch

Image of Suspicious security guards said they tried to prevent the girl from entering the market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A girl thought to be as young as seven years of age  killed herself and seven others in a suicide bombing in northeast Nigeria. The bombing in Potiskum last Sunday was the second suicide attack in or near the market where new and second-hand phones are ... continue reading


Coptic Christian refugee route, Tunisia, not as secure as it appears Watch

Image of Tunisia has seen an upturn in the number of radical Islamists since the growth of the Islamic State and the Arab Spring.

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Insecurity and fear is back in Tunisia, which had thus far managed to avoid severe violence despite neighboring war-torn Libya, following a terrorist attack which killed four Tunisian soldiers between the night of February 17 and morning of the 18th. ALGIERS, ... continue reading


More cell phones than flush toilets -- Mobile phones reshaping African cultures Watch

Image of Mobile usage in Africa increases twice as fast as the global average.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In this very moment, you're using the internet. Are you on a computer? If you're living in an African Country, chances are you've never even seen a computer and can only browse using a mobile device. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to CNN, 70 percent of ... continue reading


SHOCKING NEW BOOK says AIDS began in Africa at run of century - not 1980s Watch

Image of David Quammen's

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If a new historical treatise is accurate, AIDS/HIV, associated mostly with homosexual men, did not begin in the metropolitan climes of New York City and Paris in the 1980s, but in the Cameroonian jungles of Africa at the turn of the century. David Quammen's ... continue reading


Hate vs. Hate: Racist ISIS may not let Boko Haram join forces with them Watch

Image of ISIS and Boko Haram differ in many ways. While both use social media, the ISIS campaign is far more sophisticated in utilizing more than 20 languages.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The irony is totally lost to them - the hate-fueled Islamist State, persecuting Christians, fellow Muslims, Coptics and many others, may disallow the Nigerian terror group Boko Haram from joining forces with them. "The Arab world is incredibly racist," ... continue reading


UP to a QUARTER MILLION Christian Nigerians at risk of mass slaying at hands of Boko Haram Watch

Image of A successful attack in Maiduguri would provide Boko Haram with a launching point for further attacks on the neighboring states of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The militant Islamist group Boko Haram forces seems poised to attack Maiduguri, a city of two million in northeast Nigeria. This puts at least 200,000 Nigerian Christians at risk of slaughter. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "An attack on Madiguri is very ... 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, Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
10 Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
8 'It is not with your sacrifices that I find fault, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:1-12
1 Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 3rd, 2015 Image

St. Katharine Drexel
March 3: Saint Katharine Drexel, Religious (Feast Day-March 3) Born in ... 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