Obesity

Medications play a huge role in medicalization and an increasingly large role in biomedicalization.  Reliance on medications for control over basic biological behavior has been part of American society for quite some time and has grown into the ‘enhancement’ segment that is biomedicalization where intervention is not entirely necessary.  Things like high-cholesterol that could be managed with a change in diet, are frequently being managed with medications instead.  This change in behavior is indicative of our desire for immediacy in results for health and wellbeing.  This is easily demonstrated by any type of weight-loss ad that uses an extremely short time frame as a selling point.  We are also seeing that medications and the profitability that comes with them, enable the medicalization of certain conditions (like the menstruation example).  By marketing the birth control in a certain way, pharmaceutical companies can lure in all kinds of customers to manage something that does not necessarily require management.  This merely demonstrates the capitalistic nature of our society.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ufqcJ81Vqw

Obviously there is huge potential for a drug that aids in weight-loss or weight management in our society that struggles with obesity.  The ad claims that no change in diet or large increase in exercise is necessary to see results using Capsiplex which is wonderful news for the average consumer that does not seek a large change in lifestyle, but wants the weight-loss results advertised.  This means the daily routine can continue, uninterrupted, by simply taking the pill.  The ad uses biosociality and makes the narrator relatable and seem just like them in that she does not wish to have to change her lifestyle, but simply wants something to control her weight fluctuations.  In addition, it is obvious that there is a sexual element to the ad by using a woman having a great time modeling her “Capsiplex-aided” body and flaunting her success as a result of her weight-loss.  They are depicting the ideal female social experience that was also seen in the birth control ads where the narrator’s life has improved dramatically because she no longer experiences weight fluctuations and she constantly receives compliments on her figure.  The ad is also light on specific medical information, especially contraindications of the drug.  It is simply marketed as a drug that aids the metabolism of fat.  Overall, the ad markets to the consumer using relatability and simplicity to sell the drug.

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  1. Ellen Howard says:

    After watching the Capsiplex ad I am a bit shocked that a weight loss aid is able to be advertised in such a way. Showing a smaller to average size pretty woman speak on behalf of Capsiplex makes the drug look too good to be true in my opinion. My first questions after seeing the ad were, what are the health risks and side effects, and why haven’t I heard more about this drug and its safety precautions? When going to watch this commercial on youtube, I was already looking out for the strategy the company put into advertising so I was able to see how sketchy this medication could be. But just being a normal person watching tv, that has struggled with weight, I can see how this ad would be appealing. The woman they use is very attractive and the way she tells her story she tries to make the audience relate and show how similar their situations or “illnesses” are. The ad makes weight issues out to be an illness that can be cured with the help of a pill. This goes to show how lazy and dependent or society has become and also how important we view weight loss. Weight loss for those that are overweight has become a huge trend. Although it is important for those overweight to lose weight, people can become addicted to losing weight and develop eating disorders and addiction to diet pills. “A study from the University of Minnesota’s “Project EAT (Eating Among Teens) found that high school-aged females’ use of diet pills nearly doubled from 7.5 to 14.2 percent. By the ages of 19 and 20, 20 percent of females surveyed used diet pills.” Weight loss strategies, including medication, are becoming epidemic within out society.

    Addiction Hope, “Diet Pills Abuse Causes, Statistics, Addiction Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects.” Last modified April 15, 2013. Accessed August 3, 2013. http://www.addictionhope.com/diet-pills.

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