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East Mediterr Health J. 2006 Sep;12(5):619-24.

Fattening practices among Moroccan Saharawi women.

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Training and Research Unit on Food Sciences, Laboratory of Physiology Applied to Nutrition and Feeding, Chouaib Doukkali University School of Sciences, El Jadida, Morocco.


To study obesity in Moroccan Saharawi culture, 249 women were questioned about their desired body size and diet practices. The majority of women (90.4%) reported wanting to gain weight currently or at some time in the past. To gain weight, women used a fattening period (tablah) of at least 40 days of overeating with a reduction of physical activity and special traditional meals. Appetite enhancers (therapeutic drugs or fenugreek) and traditional suppositories were also used. Some women used corticosteroids to gain weight rapidly. The study highlights the need for health education about the dangers of obesity and steroid use in this culture.

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