After watching both of the videos of women in Mauritania, I was pretty shocked to see how different they were than the standards or views in America. The videos portray a long history in Mauritanian culture of a male preference for larger "fat" women. When girls are young, before puberty, parents will even begin to force feed their daughters to make them more desirable for marriage.
These preferences for a larger body weight differ greatly from what the textbook says is conventionally physical attractive for women. This larger body weight also has more concerns besides the aesthetic side. I would imagine the careers of these women would suffer greatly from dedicating yourself to becoming fat. This women who have done this, do so to wed a successful man, which probably eliminates any motivation for a career of their own. Physical labor becomes extremely strenuous, and the health risks as anyone knows, begin to pile up with the increase in unnecessary weight.
It is hard for me to imagine why this is attractive for men in Mauritania. Because of the strain these women are putting on their health, I would imagine that their husbands would outlive their spouse, which I would find very undesirable. This excess weight also would probably have some negative affects on the children of these mothers from pregnancy as well.