Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/16/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Africa

'Hijarbie' becomes internet sensation Watch

Image of Hijarbie is meant to promote modesty and provide a role model for Muslim girls (Hijarbie/Instagram).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

One woman gained international attention after posting pictures of Barbie dressed in a hijab to her Instagram account. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - 2016 has been a big month for Barbie. First, she becomes available in variety of skin tones, heights and sizes, ... continue reading


Where are they going?: Number of ISIS fighters in Syria heavily drop Watch

Image of ISIS militants rise in Libya.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The number of ISIS militants swarming Syria and Iraq is believed to have dropped from 19,000 to 25,000 fighters to 20,000 to 31,500, according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest. However, as the number of fighters lower in that area, it is doubling in Libya. ... continue reading


Horrific female genital mutilation continues to haunt over 200 million girls and women around the world Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Despite efforts from the United Nations to completely outlaw this horrible practice, Female Genital Mutilation continues to affect girls and women all around the world.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the UN Children's agency, 200 million females ... continue reading


Why is the USA dumping Gitmo terrorists in Africa? Ghana Bishops Conference asks tough questions nobody wants to answer Watch

Image of Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Bishop's Conference of Ghana is unhappy that the U.S. government has sent two known terrorists to their country. The bishops have sent a letter asking the government of Ghana to send the terrorists back to where they came from. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) ... continue reading


Boko Haram's horrific massacre leaves a trail of charred children's bodies Watch

Image of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari declared last year that Nigeria had

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram razed the village of Dalori in northeastern Nigeria this past weekend. Fifty people were killed - some of them children, when the group marched into the village and began shooting indiscriminately. Horrifying photos of charred ... continue reading


Women tricked into sex trafficking ... BY OTHER WOMEN Watch

Image of Women continue to be tricked into becoming victims of the sex trafficking industry (StopEnslavement.org).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Women are often duped by other women into believing there are job opportunities in Dubai. After paying a finder's fee to the "friends" who get them jobs, women travel to Dubai and learn that they were really sold as prostitutes. Their passports and return flight ... continue reading


South Sudan Needs Change NOW: Sudanese leaders must put their nation's interests before their own, bishop says Watch

Image of Sudan has been the scene of nearly continuous civil war since it gained independence in 1956 (Photo by Al Jazeera).

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Bishop Santo Loku Pio Doggale joined his brother prelates from South Sudan and Sudan for a time of rest and prayer in Rome last week, during which they were able to discuss key issues the two countries face, including decades of internal conflict and war. Rome, Italy ... continue reading


Libyan man executed by Islamic State for practicing acupuncture Watch

Image of Libyan Haaji Mohammed says that one of the men is his friend,

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The scene on the video is familiar, but no less horrific. Two men in orange jumpsuits kneel before a black-clad Islamic State executioner and have their heads cut off with a scimitar before a cheering crowd. Libyan Haaji Mohammed says that one of the men is his ... continue reading


Terrorist attacks at Burkina Faso luxury hotel foiled; security forces storm facility Watch

Image of A terrorist siege at a Burkina Faso luxury ended on Saturday after security forces stormed the building.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A terrorist siege at a Burkina Faso luxury ended on Saturday after security forces stormed the building. Twenty-eight people from 18 different nations died in the attack; the 156 people trapped in the hotel during the siege were freed and taken to safety. LOS ... continue reading


The world looks on as people in Africa continue to starve Watch

Image of People are starving to death while the world looks on (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Millions in Ethiopia and South Sudan are victims of both drought and war, leaving most to starve. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ethiopia continues to suffer extreme droughts, doubling the number of people in need of help within a span of only three months, ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 10 important things to consider during Lent
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 10, 2016
  • St. Scholastica: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 10, 2016
  • Take this thought provoking Stations of the Cross survey
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • Stations of the Cross - Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother HD Video
  • Palm Sunday HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:22-23, 27-30
22 Then, in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, Solomon stood ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5, 10, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a nest to place its ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 7:1-13
1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 9th, 2016 Image

St. Apollonia
February 9: St. Apollonia, who died in the year 249, was ... Read More