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Eating disorders and tahai (no relations here)

April 15, 2008

Tahai with two pieces of asam kulit - yummy

I have been thinking of food all the time partly because its almost lunch time now and another reason is that I am trying to starve myself – kidding – not good actually. Dieting can kill you, did you know that? You may have heard of cases of anorexia or bulimia, both are well-known eating disorders

There was a big news last year where a Brazilian model died because of anorexia nervosa. She was still young, at 21. Her death prompted for global calls not to allow really skinny models on the runways – those with a BMI of less than 18 are banned. Some countries like the US, the UK and Italy followed this call.

The late Princess Diana was also said to be bulimic. This website tells of famous people (some I don’t really know actually) who died because of or have eating disorders.

Sometimes I wonder why people would do it – to eat and binge out or not to eat at all. I would understand celebrities like the Brazilian model – due to their work and social status but what I don’t understand is for ‘normal’ people like you and me. Depression? Isolation? Family problems? Peer pressure. Maybe yes to all of these.

Mostly affected would be teenagers, especially girls but men are known to be vulnerable as well. Pity that for these young people, slim is in and being fat is out. Even the slightest sight of a bulge would leave them screaming to lose weight. ASAP. If there is no proper guidance from their parents, the result would be devastating even fatal.

I heard of a story on a family here in Brunei – the usual scene where the parents were so every busy with their own lives that they neglected their ‘little’ girl – literally. The girl was only 16 when she was sent to the emergency and her weight at that time was that of a young girl – at 25 kilograms. Luckily she survived and she later told her doctor (where I got this story from) that she just wanted her parents’ attention. How touching.

So don’t want to think of bad things now as my tummy grumbles and roaring to be filled. I already have a picture in my mind (and up there) on what’s my lunch would be – the humble tahai.  Tahai is a Brunei dish made of smaller fish called tamban and made into soup with the sour asam kulit as the main ingredients hence the sour taste. Tahai is usually taken on its own or served as a side dish with Ambuyat. The small fish was of course smoked beforehand and they are readily available at major Tamu or side-stalls along Brunei roads. Am really hungry now….

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