Medications in have become almost a crutch to the American society. Most medications will just be a band-aid to ease the pain and not cure the actual sickness. There are some extremely beneficial medicalizations forms of treatment that cure illnesses. However with the expansion of more biomedicalization, some medications seem to be highly abused and used out of their purpose. For example, people will take many medications for the wrong reasons such as weight loss as being a side effect.

Our society has become so accustom to the idea that “If a doctor prescribes something it must be safe”, when this is not always the case in biomedicalization. This says a lot about our culture and what we value. Although we value health greatly is there a bigger influence to look a certain way or be a certain weight? These peer pressures of society may be triggering people to abuse the system using biomedicalization to their advantage. Doctors prescribe medications according to their specific patient, but does the patient always really need them? In the Documentary “Pill Poppers” they explain that we are likely to be prescribed more than 14,000 pills in our lifetime. The documentary also explains many things about these pills are not even discovered yet until they have been taken. Whether these pills are doing harm or good for our bodies we may not be fully understood. Some people may use prescription medication to their health advantage while others may chose to use them for their own personal advantage. Pills are becoming more and more common as the years go on. There is a pill for anything these days, as long as the patient is willing to take them. The question is, are we really sure what these pills are doing to our bodies?

Culturally, we value and trust medications just as much as we do our doctors. Our health and well-being are the most important things to maintain, and with these medications we can maintain them regularly. Culture also views people with a higher success rate to have more access to medical attention and medications. However, those who do have the financial funds and means to receive medical attention may take it for granted, and live a more risky life style, because they can receive better insurance.



This advertisement I found is used to treat obesity. It uses the strategy of showing healthy people and an admirable healthy lifestyle associated with their product. Our culture deeply values being fit and healthy, associating it with an ideal lifestyle. Placing a happy actress or actor in the commercial represents the ideology that being in better shape will make you happier and have an easier life. For example, the woman in the advertisement steps on the scale seeing she has lost weight and smiles. This commercial also makes dieting seem a little bit easier to achieve, which makes people want to try it even more. People are always looking for the quickest and easiest way to achieve their goals. In terms of social roles, people who are physically fit are admired. Society sees these individuals as healthy and having a well-rounded life. This commercial tries to present a person living a well-rounded healthy lifestyle and showing “this could be you”. There is little presentation of medical information, but the audience is told that it is the first “pharmacy only” diet pill. Being pharmacy approved, this pill is more likely going to be thought of as a safe choice for the patient. There are no doctor patient interactions presented, but that may be because one can receive the pill without a doctor’s prescription. I believe the advertisement should have given more input from a medical doctors perspective, reassuring the patient that this is the safest choice to meet their weight loss goal.

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Nick Flaga says:

    Obesity is an interesting condition that has recently become highly medicalized in our society. Obesity was once largely believed to be determined by personal choices including diet and exercise. However, the medicalization of our society is now redefining the causes and treatments of obesity. Obesity is now being examined through biomedical perspectives such as genetics and varying rates of metabolism from person to person. While obesity rates are certainly increasing, it is not likely any biomedical variations are also increasing at the same rate. Rather, a more logical explanation of increasing obesity rates is the vast availability of fast food, and large consumption of foods high in fat, protein, and carbohydrates. However, it is also important to understand individuals are in fact, individuals. We do not all posses the same characteristics, this includes body figures. A distinction must be made between those who are naturally overweight without unhealthy lifestyles, and those who are overweight because of their unhealthy lifestyle. The medicalization of our society has targeted both those who are obese due to their lifestyle and those who are overweight despite their lifestyle. Of course, the latter is being unfairly targeted by our society and cultural understanding that being skinny is synonymous with being healthy. Rather, we must understand some individuals are larger than others. While those who are obese due to their lifestyle may use this an excuse, its legitimacy holds true for those maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The difficulty in correctly determining this distinction is similar to that of ADHD as described by Conrad. Are those who are lacking productivity also procrastinators also lacking motivation, or do they have a deficiency in certain neurological connections? Similarly, does an obese individual lack the motivation to seek a healthy lifestyle, or due biomedical factors predetermine their obesity?

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