I chose obesity because it is a very important problem all over the world. In addition to the US, many people in many countries suffer obesity for different reasons; and it is very hard to lose weight for most of them. I believe that obesity is heavily medicalized in the US for different reasons; first in the US culture most people rely on fast food which is faster, easier, and tastier than buying vegetables and healthy food; another reason is that fast food is more affordable to most people. Second, most people don’t lose weight easily, and most of these people don’t like to work hard to lose weight, or they have a busy schedule that makes it hard for them to go to the gym and exercise. The forces that made obesity an illness or a condition that requires medical intervention is the fact that it causes a number of series illnesses like diabetes, and heart diseases, all of which increase the rate of morbidity and mortality. Another reason is that most insurance companies offer to cover most of weight loss surgeries and programs, which is a way of declaring the acceptance of obesity as an illness in the US. As was explained in the Conrad article; “Medicalization is usually a product of collective action, rather than a result of medical imperialism” (Conrad 1992).
Link to Atkins commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH_uoVKagfM
Here is the media analysis for Atkins diet commercial. The advertising strategy is to present a woman who used to be 180 Ibs and lost 50 Ibs in only three months; it attracts the viewers by presenting the numbers first to get their attentions. The cultural values and ideologies in this commercial is presented by showing the same woman after she lost her weight, they showed her figure which what every woman wants to have in US culture. The social roles are to demonstrate how she can eat tasty food and lose weight at the same time; she also explained that she does not crave anymore. The presentation of medical information in this commercial is by having the women present her own feelings when she followed the Atkins diet, she is now confident, having energy, and much healthier. There is no doctor patient interaction, which is the point in this commercial; the ad shows the viewer that they can lose weight without having to go to doctors or do any surgeries.