Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/16/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Africa

Pope Francis tells Ugandans to remember their saints and to live by their example Watch

Image of The Pope, speaking in Uganda says that openness extends not only to our loved ones, but to our enemies as well.

By Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN News

Marking his first full day in Uganda with Mass to celebrate the nation's martyrs, Pope Francis said the call to be missionary disciples falls on all of us, whether at home or abroad, with our families or among our enemies. Kampala, Uganda (CNA/EWTN News) - "Like the ... continue reading

FULL TEXT: Pope Francis speaks to Kenyan youth, and how to avoid terrorist recruitment Watch

Image of The Pope Francis delivered lengthy, powerful answers with his own anecdotes, revealing that he carries a rosary and a pocket-sized Stations of the Cross with him every day, which he said keep him from losing hope.


An impassioned Pope Francis went off-the-cuff in a vast, widespread speech to Kenyan youth, touching on challenging topics such as how to stop youth from being recruited to terrorist activities. Nairobi, Kenya (CNA/EWTN News) - The encounter fell on the Pope's ... continue reading

A special look into the inspirational meeting between Pope Francis and Kenya's poor Watch

Image of


During his tri-nation visit to Africa this week, Pope Francis made a stop at a slum in Nairobi and praised those he met for their love of and emphasis on community and relationships - over what he called a vacuous, "unbridled consumption" that often plagues the West. ... continue reading

Will Pope Francis make a powerful change in Kenya? Watch

Image of Pope Francis arrives in Kenya -and chooses to spent time with the poor instead of rich Kenyan leaders.


Pope Francis arrived in Nairobi, Kenya today and has already ruffled feathers by choosing to join a resident of a Nairobi slum for dinner, rather than accepting President Uhuru Kenyatta's dinner invitation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In an act worthy of his ... continue reading

'I had my hand on the door': Woman survives Mali hotel attack Watch

Image of Kathie Fazekas survived a terrorist attack at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali (ABC).


Following the Mali hotel attack that claimed the lives of 19 victims, Kathie Fazekas, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employee, has stepped forward to reveal her terrifying experience with a gunman just outside her hotel door. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Pope Francis to visit Africa: 'How do you reconcile mercy and war?' Watch

Image of Pope Francis will be visiting Africa from November 25 through November 30.


Pope Francis is set to tour three African countries -Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic - November 25-30. Pope Francis is expected to address the secular lifestyle, competing Christian faiths and violence on the continent. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

MORE THAN 20 DEAD - Terrorists holding over 100 guests, staff hostage at luxury Malian hotel Watch

Image of Armed gunmen, at last count eight men brandishing AK-47s, quizzed hotel guests about their knowledge of the Koran before they freed 80 people.


Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists have seized the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, the capital city of the African nation of Mali. At least 20 people including, a Belgian worker, a French national and two Malian security guards are believed to have perished in the ... continue reading

The terrorist group MORE DEADLY than ISIS that you NEED to know about NOW! (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) Watch

Image of Boko Haram is the deadliest militant group in the world (Getty Images).


Despite the recent Paris terror attacks and ISIS extremism in the Middle East and Africa, a new study released at the Institute of Economics and Peace at the University of Maryland found that the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram is the deadliest group in the world. ... continue reading

Was Queen Nefertiti's hidden tomb finally found? Two secret chambers may have been discovered in King Tut's tomb Watch

Image of Dr. Nicholas Reeves spotted what appeared to be a secret entrance, uncovering the


It's very exciting news for the archaeological world. Researchers at King Tutankhamen's tomb say there are new indications of hidden chambers that may be concealed by walls. Infrared thermography used to measure the temperature of each of the walls of the tomb ... continue reading

Cairo, Moscow vehemently deny Islamic State's claim they downed Russian jet over the Sinai Watch

Image of Officials are going through the plane's wreckage to determine what led to the tragedy.


Confusion reigns over the air tragedy that sent a Russian airbus plunging over the Sinai in Egypt the weekend. Altogether, 192 adults, 25 children, and seven crewmembers, all 224 people onboard were killed. Islamic State has released a video allegedly showing ... continue reading

All Africa News


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

  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • GRAPHIC IMAGES: Islamic extremist shown being BLOWN UP while making ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • CRYBABY KILLER: Islamist State fighter breaks down in tears after ...
  • MIRACLES DO HAPPEN: Days-old baby girl buried alive pulled to safety ...
  • St. Andrew: Saint of the Day for Monday, November 30, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More