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

Boy keeps right on dancing until he beats Ebola virus Watch

Image of Eleven-year-old Mamadee Sayon smiled big as he danced out of the camp - he had successfully beaten the Ebola virus and was sent home.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eleven-year-old Mamadee Sayon was admitted to a Liberian Ebola camp when he came down with the disease - but he kept right on dancing. His sister, who also came down with the disease, died a few days later - but Mamadee kept right on dancing to keep up the ... continue reading


EBOLA WASTE: Without capable staff, Ebola clinics worthless Watch

Image of The World Health Organization says the Ebola infection rate is doubling every 10 to 21 days, which means hospitals and clinics may not be built and staffed fast enough to meet demand.

By Stella Dawson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

A shortage of volunteers to staff the new Ebola clinics and hospitals the international community is building in West Africa threatens efforts to bring the deadly virus rapidly under control, aid agencies have warned. WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) -  ... continue reading


Algeria opposes a foreign intervention in Libya Watch

Image of Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramtane Lamamra stressed that

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Algeria cannot accept "foreign military intervention in Libya." Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ramtane Lamamra made that assertion while in Madrid last week. The occasion marked an international conference on support and development of Libya, which was ... continue reading


Health team butchered in Guinea as Ebola outbreak accelerates Watch

Image of Health workers in Guinea being decontaminated after handling potentially Ebola infected materials.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eight members of a medical team attempting to raise awareness about Ebola have been killed by villagers using machetes and clubs in Guinea. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bodies of health workers, local officials and journalists were found in a septic tank ... continue reading


A new name for terror: Djounoud Al khalifa Watch

Image of Created this month by Khaled Abu Suleiman, whose real name is Gourou Abdul Malik, a 50-year-old man who left al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in order to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi as the commander of all followers of Islam.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

"Djounoud Al khalifa," or Soldiers of the Caliph is the given name of the new pivot of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, which has been freshly created by the Islamic State in Islamic Maghreb. North Africa is now bracing for a spate of new ... continue reading


Death toll isn't the only toll: Ebola outbreak will cause untold economic damage Watch

Image of Aid workers in protective suits deal with Ebola infected patients.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new report from the World Bank has revealed that the West African Ebola outbreak could cost affected nations billions of dollars and slash economic growth rates by double digits if the virus continues to spread. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Besides just ... continue reading


PRAY FOR NIGERIA - Catholic Church reports as many as 20 priests hiding from Boko Haram in Nigeria Watch

Image of Nigerian Christians are under serious threat from Boko Haram.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Catholic Church is warning the world that 25 villages, all with large Catholic populations, remain under the firm control of Boko Haram, an Islamic militant groups that has aligned itself with the Islamic State. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Catholic ... continue reading


World bank loans $105 million to combat Ebola Watch

Image of The grant, approved on the same day U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to send 3,000 military troops to the region, will also pay for training programs for international staff going to the countries, and basic supplies for quarantined areas.

By Stella Dawson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The World Bank approved a $105 million grant on Tuesday to speed up delivery of emergency supplies and provide support for healthcare workers in the three West African countries worst affected by the Ebola crisis. (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The disease has ... continue reading


SECURITY THREAT: U.S. troops to join in fight against Ebola Watch

Image of Liberia, a nation founded by freed American slaves and the hardest hit of the countries affected by the crisis will be the focus of the U.S. military deployment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

West Africa's deadly Ebola outbreak has been declared a threat to global security by U.S. President Obama and has since announced a major expansion of the U.S. role in trying to turning the deadly tide. In response, the president has deployed 3,000 troops to ... continue reading


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


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Proverbs 3:27-34
27 Refuse no kindness to those who have a right to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
2 Whoever lives blamelessly, who acts uprightly, who ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:16-18
16 'No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Thomas of Villanueva
September 22: Augustinian bishop. Born at Fuentellana, Castile, Spain, he was ... 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