Obesity has become majorly medicalized in society. Obesity is now said to have outnumbered the amount of malnourished people (C.Crandell, T.Crandell, J.Zanden). The condition itself is not considered an illness. But Obesity is very influential of other illnesses. A lot of people who are obese have illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (livestrong.com). The overall western culture primarily makes obesity, itself into an illness. For example, there are a number of commercials that advertise to people ways to become thin and go on crash diets sometimes.

Economically, this makes people a lot of money. People that advertise, insurance companies, and many other people because obesity is an extreme problem in Western Culture. Western culture emphasizes how important it is to be thin. In my opinion, it is better to be overall healthy than thin. If you go to a doctor’s appointment and your vitals are exceptional and your weight does not effect your daily activities, then you should be accepted by society.

However, you’re not accepted by society unless you are thin. Here is a video of an advertisement that uses the taste of chocolate and some other techniques to engage people into being thin and buying the product simultaneously.

As you can see, during the commercial, it starts off showing tons of chocolate and how good it tastes. They know that people tend to love chocolate and they use this to catch the audiences’ attention. They also try to say that this isn’t regular “dieting” its basically the primary way you should be eating. They use the social role of society hating to diet as the girl in the video says “I hate dieting but I love my slimmies.” This is what Western culture is. They think that being thin is healthy. They also present medical information where they briefly show a chart that measures the slimmies product compared to placebo effect. Therefore, people will think that this product actually works. I honestly think that this is very unsafe. People who use this product the wrong way can put themselves in an even worse situation.

I think that society needs to change the image of losing weight and being thin to focusing on the overall health of a person. Why doesn’t anybody think of doing advertisements where people check their sugar and high blood pressure and then have them say its because hard work, dedication to eating healthy, and exercise is the reason for weight loss instead of focusing so much on actual size? I think that this would encourage more people to become healthy the correct way.



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About Shavon Alexander

My name is Shavon Alexander. I am a Human Development and Family Studies major. I will be a junior in the fall. I am looking forward to learning new things about illness and culture in this class. I plan on going to medical school so I am really excited about this course!

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