Obesity

In the American society both medicalization and biomedicalization are used although biomedicalization has been extremely commercialized to target a confident beautiful look even despite health risks in some cases. Medicalization is our traditional form of treating illness regarding a persons health with minor or no issues of daily functioning. The use of biomedicalization has become popular in more recent years since 1985 with more attention to what it is we want to improve (enhance) about ourselves if we are not satisfied. It does include a responsibility to health, however with the trends of our culture we strive to look our best to feel good as well as successful. In the lecture, Rogaine was shown which is a good example of how looking younger will boost confidence and sometimes self worth as if hair color is a determinant of your quality characteristics.

Another advertisement regarding an example of biomedicalization is the weight loss medication Sensa. You have most likely seen this product advertised at some point showing how easy it is to lose weight from simply sprinkling Sensa on your food to help control your food portions. Although there is a clinical aspect portrayed that (some) people have lost a lot of weight, there is no medical proof showing this product is healthy or does not have negative effects regarding your health. The focus is purely how much weight you will lose and how fantastic you will feel about yourself if you obtain a slim, sexy figure. Even though this product is not a bad idea to help reduce the health risks from obesity and being overweight, there is little information that emphasizes the aspect of health. This advertisement even promotes the ability to lose weight without physical exercise, which is proven to be one of the best natural ways to keep your body healthy. It is a presentation of our American culture, mentioned in the lectures that we may have health problems that we can now take into our own hands as these “expert patients” which I feel is largely due to the massive amount of media advertisements promoting these products driven by “clinically proven” effects and outcomes.

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  1. Peter Ferszt says:

    The connotation surrounding obesity in the past 10 years (or more) has changed drastically in an interesting manner. No longer attributed to personal choice, bad eating habits, lack of physical exercise, or poor lifestyle, but is more and more being considered a ‘disease’. From a genetics perspective, they have no concluded that certain people are at rick of obesity more than others based on their genetics. Different genes translate to different basal metabolic rates, and thus manifest in different abilities to burn calories and avoid excessive bodily fat content. One person may be able to eat five slices of pizza and not gain a pound, while another person may do the same thing and gain weight. This natural variance within the human population, due to environmental and cultural adaptation to certain diets, is being profiled as a disease often times in modern society, mostly likely due to some people’s inability to maintain or achieve America’s high and unrealistic beauty standards. The tall, lanky, anorexic physicality is pretty much impossible to achieve by most. Some people have wide hips, carry weight differently, or are naturally skinny, but now if you can’t maintain these impossible standards you are labeled as diseased and ‘abnormal’. Just further proof of America’s medicalized society.

    Similar to Conrad article, obesity opens the door for controversy in diagnosis. Adult ADHD is hard to diagnose since many are unsure of whether or not they suffer from an actual neurological disorder of if they are just people who underperform, procrastinate, and are just plain lazy. One ca make the same argument against obese people; are they suffering from an actual disease, or do they just have little self control when it comes to food and are too lazy to work our regularly? The difficulty of diagnosis in these situations is a direct effect from medicalization of subjective diseases.

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