Gulabjamuns and Rasgullas: A peek into the obesity factor in Pakistan


Recently, a workshop titled “First 1000 days” was held in Lahore. Key opinion leaders discussed the importance of first 1000 years in lives of both the mother and the child. Topics like malnutrition and obesity were also discussed. The hashtag #First 1000 days also trended on Twitter for most part of the day.

Although I didn’t attend the workshop but the trend on twitter was what caught my attention and more specifically the following tweet.


I had been intending to write on the topic of obesity and here’s my chance finally. This post is about obesity in Pakistan and I intend to cover only one aspect of it, which for a fact is not true for all obese cases but something which I as a Pakistani has seen to be lacking in most people that I have known.

I admit that I am a lazy person when it comes to exercising, I might agree to cut down my food intake but will definitely duck at the talk of physical movement. I have started this post with my own example because I am not perfect and I am part of this society, this collective mentality. This post is an ass-kicking call for all those Gulabjamuns and the Rasgullas like me who sit at home all day, watch TV, complain of lethargy after cooking Alu Chicken and tarka rice, are so zonked out by the end of the day that they can’t even move a muscle.


1. The mums with little brats:

At one point in our lives, we were looked after by our parents– mother’s to be precise for most part of the day. We might not remember what a typical day was for our mothers, but if you have any younger Khalas/Phupos (If we consider the latter important here) then you would have seen them performing their daily duties which included cooking, cleaning (if they didn’t have a maid), ironing, washing, poop/pee washing like dozen times a day etc etc. My list is not complete but as a general idea this is what constitutes of a mother’s every day life. Sometimes I wonder why some women that I know, who are busy in house chores, don’t lose weight? I understand that there might be various reasons acting as an impediment to the cause; however for most cases it doesn’t happen. I think I might have an answer to it which takes us to the next point.

2. The Eat-for-the baby types:

You eat food for two when you are expecting, but why once the baby is out do you look like you might be expecting twins? We Pakistani women drool at an angrez women’s pregnant body.

“She looks as if something’s been attached to her tummy, once the baby is born, that things’s gone. No extra fat at any place in their bodies. How to they do that?”


Simple answer: They eat for the baby but they EXERCISE. You name it, yoga, swimming, dancing, running, walking. And they don’t sleep all day, or eat and watch TV. Those women (who are infact mostly professionals) work throughout their pregnancy.

But you know what, I am not sure if it works this way, but maybe what those angrez women do isn’t going to work for you. Because..well look at your mom, your grandma, your khalas, how did they look after having kids? You, probably are going to look the same way, it’s in your genes now, you can’t escape it. Sorry. It’s too late. K.Bye.

I was just messing around, I am sure if you adopt an active lifestyle before your get pregnant, then hopefully things are going to work out for you.

But you know what, still it might not.


Because your mom’s gonna say; ‘Swimming? Are you out of your mind?”

“What? Running? Don’t be stupid!”

Pakistani girls, I am sorry but you have no hopes for a very bright future. Let’s jump to the next point.

3. The couch potato kids:

With the Play Station culture in Pakistan, Doraemon, Ben 10 in the house, kids bite down on mayo fries and stare at screens. Outdoor activity is nill. Also mostly for people who live in unsafe areas, it’s hard for their kids to find any outdoor sports–which is indeed really sad state of our country.

4. The hillbilly oldies:

These are women who have been confined to 4 walls of their homes their whole lives, they don’t go out, their whole world is the insides of their houses. Now these women talk…and you know what kind of talk I am talking about. Ufone packages, Skype, Viber, are their escapism tools, they connect to the outside world through them. Their exercise is backbiting, plotting, hatred spewing, this is what fills them and this is what cuts down their calories. These women are not tolerant to contemporary practices and will shun the idea of a healthy lifestyle by emotionally and psychologically draining the bahus of their houses. Such a household is true for majority of Pakistani awaam, and hence hopeless cases.

5. The pregnant chauvinists:

Ok probably my points are inclining more towards the common stereotypes, but hey these are important and these are ruining lives. So let’s address them.

Hey I am not a sexist, this point finally is about males, I have tried to cover all types (kids, women, men)keeping a balance.  These are the type of men who, before getting married are cutting down on their kheer/barfi-intake because you know why …but once they enter the realm of Shadi, they stomp down on all so-called restrictions and as days pass by, you can tell which trimester must have started.

Their logic: “Yaar, ab tou shaadi hogye hai, ab dieting kar k kia karna hai.”

While on the other hand, their wives are counting their calories intake and frequently visiting the weighing machines, because you know what their mothers told them before rukhsati?

“Beta, shauhar k liye ban sanwar k rehna, usko moqa na dena k wo kisi aur ki taraf dekhay.”

So good luck poor girl, your husband just asked for an alu wala paratha, go make it.

Note: If you felt offended by this post, then please take the offense and try to make things right for the betterment of your’s and your family’s future.



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