At home in Kisoona:
During their attempt to reach Lake Albert to the N.W. of what is today Uganda, Sir Baker and his wife Lady Florence were forced to spend a number of weeks at the large village of Kisoona until the chief of Unyoro, Kamrase, deemed it appropriate for them to proceed.
As usual, Sir Baker spent a good deal of this time learning about local ways – and especially about local foods, food preparation and eating. In this entry, he comments on the practice of force-feeding wives of the chief until they are so fat they sometimes cannot walk. This practice is also found further south, in rearing girls amongst cattle people, as well as in some areas of West Africa. The obese results would only be possible in conditions where the family owned many cattle, for these local breeds did not (as today) give large quantities of milk.
Having wives so obese that they cannot possibly work is indeed a demonstration both of cattle wealth (for milk) and of wealth in general (being able to hire workers to carry out daily tasks).
The young girls of thirteen and fourteen that are the wives of the king are not appreciated unless extremely fat–they are subjected to a regular system of fattening in order to increase their charms; thus at an early age they are compelled to drink daily about a gallon of curdled milk, the swallowing of which is frequently enforced by the whip; the result is extreme obesity.
by Sir Samuel W. Baker, M.A., F.R.G.S.