I believe obesity is bio-medicalized in the U.S. because the condition of obesity affects many American families at alarming statistic in our culture. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005 to 2008 “over one-third of the adult population of the United States is considered obese. This statistic is overwhelming especially when you factor in that an additional third of the population is classified as being overweight. Some people believe that obesity is also an epidemic in our society. Some of the cultural factors that need to be taken into account of why obesity is an epidemic in American culture is that Americans make and have access to poor eating choices. In our society Americans ‘live a life of convenience and instant gratification”. We do not have to hunt for our food and we can anything we want and when we want it in large consumption as well. Over-processed and fast foods are usually chosen by Americans than healthy and whole foods. Although these foods may save time and are cheaper in the long run they can lead to obesity if too much is consumed daily. Also, many Americans do not get enough of physical activity and to much time is spent on the internet and computer or mobil games. Americans drive instead of walk or run. Our society promotes a more sedentary lifestyle.
Obesity and being overweight are associated with many other health problems for an individual and this has a significant impact on the U.S. health care system according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The medical cost of obesity and being overweight involve indirect and direct costs. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, the medical care costs of obesity in the United States are overwhelming high and in 2008 the cost of obesity has totaled approximately $147 billion dollars. This is quite surprising to me and I really did not believe that the cost of obesity could be so high. Today I would imagine that this estimated cost is higher or close to this amount.
Link to Advertisement for a medication that treats Obesity:
- NIH, NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_gdlns.pdf [PDF-1.25Mb]
- CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/causes/