HAVANA, March 2th Havana’s Taxi driver Miguel Ernesto, who travels from Santiago de Las Vegas to Centro Habana, does not hide to comment on obesity in Cuba: “It’s better to avoid fat people, I know about the routes they’re charging for, but I do not want to take them down, I’m down in the street, picking passengers, my car is just skinny.
Olga is 42 years old and half of her life has spent more than 300 pounds. – I’m accustomed to disappoint, to make people laugh that there is no room for me.
“When I ask about the cause of my obesity, I compare myself to a pig and say,” What is the fattest animal ?: The pig and what do pigs eat ?: Sancocho! “. Well, I’m fat because I eat the same as the pig, “she explains sadly.
Although this Pinar del Rio finished her career in dentistry, she never practiced it because “I was too fat, and my mother, a teacher, lived to help me. What I’m sorry about is that I can not have a child. “
“At this point I support myself with bread with nothing, soda and products that make me feel bad. Who follows the rhyme about how much the fruits, vegetables, or cereals cost? It is not possible to make a balanced diet when the food is so expensive.
“What I can buy badly from my daughter is because I give my private classes and make croquettes for sale in the neighborhood. Sadly, the good quality of life is reserved only for the Cuban socialist bourgeoisie. Most of us can not access the little fruits, vegetables, and proteins. With a diet without clear options, obesity must exist, “Olga’s mother admits.
Likewise, Cesar says he avoids leaving his home because he feels marginalized. “I love to spend a lot of time in my room, the truth is, I do not go to the portal much, I have a brother in Miami, who sends me some money, and he is wearing clothes and shoes because there is no size for me. Cuban women do not find number 45 or tennis 3XXL, which is the most comfortable for me. “
The same happens in buses, cinemas, theaters or restaurants: there is no room for me because I would take the width of two or three places from those who have it. Our society seems to have been made for other people, for small and light Chinese, not for fat or old people who are already a majority. What’s the point then to leave if I do not have a seat?
“Why are you trying to take a private taxi or bus if they will accuse me more that they are fat or will they avoid riding for the same reason? What do you do to cross a street if traffic lights change light at the speed of light and I have no time to walk from one sidewalk to another in 10 seconds? “Adds the former locksmith, whose average weight for a decade is 140 pounds.
According to official data, by mid-2018 42% of the Cuban population is overweight and 13% of them are children. The same specialists clarify more than once that a person is becoming obese, among other reasons, because of his childhood eating bad habits.
According to Idania, whose baby is six months old, “nutritionists themselves recommend eating fruits and vegetables instead of bread or biscuits, but that’s a luxury in Cuba. Right now, mothers cost you 20 cubic cakes and one bag of milk, 80. Meat, legumes or the same egg are lost, which look almost the same price as gold. I know we are what we eat, but even the child can not produce natural juice daily.
“The very few vegetarian and other healthy Cuban restaurants for example are the most expensive in the world and no middle worker can sit down to eat there. After all, what we eat is a scrap but a duty. And all our wages that we eat and that our life is a constant struggle. It is no secret to everyone that flour and stress are part of the Cuban daily life. Or we will fill or we will die of hunger.
“It’s amazing how many people suffer from hypertension, diabetes or high levels of body fat as well as from cardiovascular diseases such as ischemia or advanced heart disease. However, transport appears to be so bad because the state wants to go a long way and stay healthy, “said this 35-year-old nurse in a joke.
Daniel, a Cuban who travels abroad to make purchases and resell them on the island, admits to having spent almost 20 years without going to Cuba, and when I did, I was amazed by the huge number of fluffy and fat people, which I have seen, even minors. 40 years old. In the United States where I live, there are many unhealthy meals, but you have the opportunity to buy healthy things, so I sell products for obesity.
“Although I sell clothes at a double normal price, because the large size means that a smaller quantity of the same item can be imported, people buy it. My clients live in despair and spend their time ordering things because they find little here. What they ask me the most, besides pulvores and tennis, are deodorants, colognes and medicines like Omega 3, which is very good for the fat, “says the impromptu merchant.
According to Cesar, “I’m not fat because I want but because I’m sick and few people understand, being like me can not please anyone, I do not cease to feel like weird, it’s rejected, I just have friends or someone, with a modern mobile phone, I use the Internet for mobile data and spend hours related to it. “Virtual life is much more bearable than what I’ve lived