I chose obesity because it is being what some say is an epidemic. Americans are having a problem with weight manage and it has gotten worse over the last few decades. The Conrad article states “Most medicalization studies focus on how nonmedical problems become defined as medical problems, usually as illness or disorders.” I see this condition as a nonmedical problem that has been reframed into illness and disorder that now requires medication to treat it. Our culture has changed and our diets have changed with it. Americans eat so unhealthy with fast food and prepackaged foods. Also with stationary jobs and entrainment like TV, movies, and video game we get so little exercise. This had added to our expanding waist line. Now instead of just changing those factors we chose to just say obesity is an illness so we can get a quick fix (another part of American Culture) in prescription form to treat it.
The ad I found was for Meridia. The ad shows larger women who are presenting the medical information. This is so the “consumer=patient” will be able to relate to the actors portraying the sufferers if obesity. These women were smiling and doing normal household activities and entertainment to show that you too can get back your normal life and do the things you use to. Later a man’s voice can be heard informing the side effects of the drug. I think they did this so it wouldn’t be related to the happy smiling ladies giving the “happy” medical information. Also the clip shows full plates of food and then skips to a half-eaten plate to show that you can stop yourself from eating too much. Also the food looks good desirable to show that you won’t be giving up your favorite foods, you’ll just be eating less of it. The only doctor patient interaction was at the end it asks you to ask your doctor about Meridia but no doctors writing prescriptions were shown like some ads.
Meridia TV Commercial (1999)