The article I chose to write about is called “Obesity as a culture-bound syndrome” by Cheryl Ritenbaugh.She talks about how obesity in the United States fits the definition of culture bound syndrome. Ritenbaugh says how obesity in other socialites is considered to be a sign of beauty and wealth. While in the USA it’s not considered to be healthy and can cause many health problems. It’s actually considered to be epidemic and a disease. “The association of massive fatness with poor health that had been recognized for hundreds of years led insurance companies in the U.S., at the turn of the century, to begin to charge higher rates to extremely fat individuals”. (Ritenbaugh) She goes on to say “western culture shapes biomedical thinking can be seen in the obesity research literature”. (Ritenbaugh) . The article states that obesity is a cultural issue and western culture obsession with being thin. It’s says that the media plays a major role in the weight standards especially for woman. “It seems likely that thinness as a culturally valued commodity is related to the value placed on youth”. (Ritenbaugh)
The biological dimensions of obesity can be individuals in genetics or it can simply be consuming too much high-fat or high-calorie food. The cultural dimensions of obesity it can be the surroundings and the socioeconomic status. For example McDonald’s dollar has hardly anything healthy on it but it’s cheaper than the salad they sale. Most people would most likely go with the cheaper item than the more expensive one. For individuals obesity can something genetic for them but it’s something that they can helped with diet and exercise. Some people don’t see obesity as a health issue so they chose to stay the way there are.
Obesity is being treated in many ways across the sectors in USA. There are diet pills, exercise equipment, weight loss programs, surgeries, diet foods, and behavioral therapy. It depends on the individual if they which route or routes to take. Americans spend billions of dollars a year on these different methods to lose weight. Despite all this money many people are still considered obese.
Ritenbugh, C. (n.d.). Obesity as a culture-bound syndrome. Retrieved from http://www.springerlink.com.proxy2.cl.msu.edu/content/r2434r5278261km7/fulltext.pd