I remember reading on here about a culture in which the men sporadically stuff themselves to put on a lot of weight--I think they used barley to do so but I can't remember exactly. A friend is doing a thesis on body image and I would like to find the name of the tribe/society for her. Can anyone help?
Is this the one you were thinking about?
The Massas is an ethnic group in Northern Cameroon that subsists mostly on plain sorghum loaves and porridge, along with a small amount of milk, fish and vegetables (1, 2). They have a peculiar tradition called Guru Walla that is only undertaken by men (2, 1):
This social institution, aimed at prestige acquisition, includes a massive overfeeding representing twice or threefold the habitual daily intake. It lasts two months, during which they are overfed on sorghum, milk, fish and vegetables (mostly sorghum, but with an increased ration of milk as well). They eat beyond the point of nausea, day and night, and expend as little energy as possible. Calorie intake exceeds 8,000 kcal per day. According to two detailed studies of nine Massas, by the end of Guru Walla, they had gained about 37 pounds (17 kg), mostly as fat* (2, 3).
You might also find this post interesting.
I remember seeing this on Oprah a few years ago. The country is called, Mauritania. I don't know if this is what you are thinking of, but it's the women who are force-fed. Either way, it might be helpful to your friend.