Biomedicalization is defined in the lecture as the enhancement of bodies and behaviors through medical interventions. It has become more and more popular in the United States, especially through the media. Medicines and treatments have been developed to treat almost every problem or symptom a human being might face. As the lecture states, “Medicalization scholar Peter Conrad has argued that the greatest social power is the ability to diagnose someone as normal or abnormal…” People were able to gain an explanation, or in some cases, an excuse for their behaviors and a biomedical solution to their problems. One of those problems that has began to grow larger, no pun intended, is obesity. Obesity has become more and more of a problem in the United States over the last few years. Wikipedia defines obesity as “a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health. Leading to reduced life expectancy and/pr increased health problems.”  In our culture we accept this as a biomedical condition that can be treated. Today, the media has a great effect on why we perceive obesity as being biomedicalized. There are countless ads encouraging children to stay active and also TV shows in which the main goal is for the participants to lose as much weight as possible. Many who are obese wish to rid themselves of it by either taking pills or having major surgery done. Politicians have also given their efforts to alleviate the problem by putting restrictions on how food is cooked, like limiting the amount of fat.


Qsymia is a medication used to treat obesity aimed at chronic weight management. There are links to different areas of the website including what the drug is and how it works etc. What caught my eye was the part where it said this should be taken alongside of dieting and exercising.  To me dieting and exercising are the two most important things a person who is obese would want to do. There are lists of side effects that could occur if the pill is taken, and some are pretty serious. You must communicate with your doctor and health care provider before you take this medicine.


1 thought on “Obesity

  1. I agree that diet and exercise should be the main focus for anyone that is obese and is trying to lose weight. One thing that I do not think was considered was those that have medical conditions such as a thyroid condition or side effects from other vital medications that cause extreme weight gain that diet and exercise simply will not cure. For people with extreme cases then a weight loss medication could be the most essential component, followed by diet and exercise. With every medication there are side effects involved, most of which can be pretty severe so but the question always comes down whether or not the risk of these potential side effects outweighs the potential benefits of this medication. For some, without certain weight loss supplements the side effects of staying obese are severe anyways so there is not much trade off.
    Medication in American society is seen a very important aspect of biomedicine. It is the fundamental principle of biomedicine that medicine if the answer to transforming the body from its current state to an even better one. Americans put a lot of value into taking a multitude of medications whether they are vitamins to help avoid illness or blood pressure medication in order to help regulate other functions of the body that have a direct correlation to high blood pressure. This demonstrates the value placed on being in good health and that without outside medication this can’t be achieved. This also shows that within American culture, the healthier a person can be then the more successful they can be in life. An example of this is the commercials for herpes medication. They always show a couple going mountain biking or white water rafting, advertising that with this medication you can experience a life that is 100x better than the one you were living before. This just solidifies the ideology that taking a particular pill is the key to improving your overall life.

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