Fat Cubans

Anita Snow’s latest “eat like a Cuban” project might actually get her to gain a pound or two if you believe her latest AP piece.
Thirty percent of Cubans, according to a regime study, are overweight. Let’s assume for a second that the study is accurate. I can hear pro-castro forces out there celebrating the study as a measure that Cuban life isn’t as bad as Cuban-Americans say it is.
The correct answer to that would be: What Embargo?? Of course, we’ve been saying that for who knows how long now.
Full article follows.

Cubans wage weight fight
Thirty percent of adult Cubans are now overweight, a new government study concluded.

Associated Press
Cubans are no strangers to the battle of the bulge.
Waistlines have expanded since the economic crisis of the early 1990s eased on the communist-run island — so much so that 30 percent of adults are now overweight, a newly released government study reveals.
Some people outside Cuba hold on to a stereotype of malnourished Cubans waiting in lines for a few potatoes, but there’s ample evidence to the contrary in Havana, where bulging waistlines are stuffed into snug skirts or peek through too-tight guayabera shirts.
”People eat lots of things like pizza and bread that fill you up, but put on a lot of weight,” said Lucia, a plump housewife who didn’t want her last name used, saying she was embarrassed about her weight and uncomfortable talking publicly about something as political as food.
”If you want to go on a diet, it’s hard because vegetables and fruits cost a lot,” she said.
In Cuba, as elsewhere, ”obesity and excess weight represent a serious public health problem,” causing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart troubles, said the study by Cuba’s Nutrition and Food Safety Institute.
Released by state media this month, the 2004 study focused on urban areas, where three-quarters of Cubans live. The study said 30 percent of Cuba’s men and 31 percent of its women are overweight, and that about a fourth of the island’s 11.2 million people have a tendency toward obesity. Those most likely to be overweight are in their 50s, it added.
An estimated two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, according to U.S. federal statistics. Using a ratio taking into account height and weight, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that generally anyone with a body mass index greater than 25 is overweight. Greater than 30 is obese (BMI can be calculated at http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/).
It was unclear if the same index was used for the Cuban study. However, Cuban nutrition researchers told the communist youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde that BMI is the most effective way to determine if someone is overweight or obese.
Cuba has a food-ration system that offers a subsidized basket of rice, beans, potatoes, bread, eggs, a little meat, fish and chicken and other goods.
The government estimates it provides one third of the 3,300 calories the average Cuban consumes daily.
Cubans also get subsidized meals at work and school, and buy food at farmers markets and overpriced supermarkets or through black-market purchases and trades.
Residents say getting food remains challenging, but it’s easier now than in the early 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed and its generous subsidies ended. Officially, Cuba’s gross domestic product fell by about 35 percent between 1989 and 1990, sparking widespread food shortages.
In 1994, the government opened markets where private farmers could sell crops at unrestricted prices — previously a crime. The state also runs farmers markets with less variety, but lower prices. Together, the markets are the only source of fresh fruits and vegetables for most urban Cubans.
Prices are low by U.S. standards: five pounds of tomatoes and a big pineapple each cost less than an American nickel.
But even with free housing and health services and subsidized services, Cubans complain that salaries averaging about $16.60 a month don’t buy more than a few items, such as onions and garlic and maybe a few tropical fruits.
”It is true that maintaining a balanced diet in today’s Cuba, with the economic conditions the country faces, is difficult,” endocrinologist Malicela Barcelo told Juventud Rebelde.
“We have vegetables and fruits all year, but they are very expensive.”
Even if Cubans had the money, there is no guarantee they would spend more on produce.
Government-run vegetarian restaurants are often nearly empty.
The Cuban diet is heavy in starch, especially rice and potatoes. Fried foods are popular, and pork is generally preferred over fish.
Just as in the United States, many Cubans are sedentary, although they tend to walk more because most don’t have cars.
Barcelo and other experts said changing eating habits would help.
”It is common for Cubans to skip breakfast and eat the majority of their food when they get home from work,” said Armando Rodriguez Suarez, a researcher for the nutrition institute.
“Then all that turns into fat because they sit in front of the television to watch the baseball game or the telenovela.”

7 thoughts on “Fat Cubans”

  1. What bothers me about Anita Snow[job]’s article is the inherent fluffiness of the piece. Here is this reporter living in a totalitarian country where librarians are jailed, poets are exiled, journalists are persecuted, and freedom of expression is non-existent, a country where the same ruling family of thugs and thieves have been controlling it for 48 years and have used it as their own personal fiefdom running it to the ground and destroying Havana, the formerly most beautiful city in the Americas, YET, Anita Snow[job] finds nothing else to write about than fat Cubans. Can you imagine writing about fat South Africans at the height of apartheid or fat Chileans under Pinochet?

  2. Well it sounds like they are admitting that Cubans eat like poor inner city Americans and trailer park trash. Foods high in empty calories are provided by a government filled with empty promises. Castro has forced his people to become a nation of diabetics, mostly gives them sugar water and bread for food, then doesn’t even provide sufficient insulin to treat these victims of socialist economic stupidity.

  3. This article seems to have a subtext “Cubans eat well” now who was that NYT writer who wrote about the Ukraine in Stalin’s time…..

  4. This is very straightforward. Anita Snow is an MSM whore, one of many, employed by MSM pimps. Whores turn tricks. That’s their function. This is one such trick. Very simple.

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