Medicalization is defined as the control over the body and behavior through medical interventions and bio medicalization is the enhancement or improvement of the body and behaviors through medical interventions. This makes sense in terms of obesity because our actions lead to the outcome of becoming obese (eating).

Obesity is a common problem amongst a lot of people now. Obesity can lead to many health factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems. There isn’t necessarily a cure for obesity in terms of a vaccine but there are other medical ways to treat it such as liposuction and other forms of surgery. Surgery for obesity is more of a short cut for the problem. The healthier but slightly more difficult treatment for obesity is a healthy diet and an exercise regimen. I believe many obese individuals stray away from this form of treatment because there are so many weight loss medications. There are so many commercials for weight loss that shows women dancing and celebrating how much weight they have lost all because they took weight loss pills.

I hate to be redundant but I also chose to focus on the advertisement for Hydroxycut weight loss supplement. The commercial consists of before and after pictures of people who have supposedly taken the product and people celebrating how skinny they are and how much better they feel now that they lost that weight. There actors in the commercials refer to themselves as “beautiful” as in society now depicts that she is a beautiful person simply because she is skinny. Now medical side effects or risks is discussed on this commercial besides the fact that it makes you lose weight. There is even a clip of a doctor approving the supplement. There is no doctor and patient interaction because anyone can go out and buy Hydroxycut without a prescription.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Alison Johnson says:

    “Medicalization is, by definition, about the extension of medical jurisdiction or the expansion of medical boundaries. “ Obesity can be considered an “illness” that needs biomedical intervention based on cultural, economic, etc. forces. The definition of medicalization includes the expansion of medical boundaries. Medical boundaries are pushed to the limits when they take into effect cultural and economic forces behind obesity. Obesity can occur from economic reasons such as lack of affordable healthy food or cultural forces such as family life, and their immediate environment lacking resources. An expansion of medical boundaries also comes into consideration with the cost of medicines to help control obesity. Taking one pill such as Hydroxycut not only is easier than working out or going to get surgery, or more cost efficient, but it is also less time consuming. The growing amount of people suffering from obesity only adds to it’s confirmation as an “illness”. Obesity is partially medicated in the sense that there are “natural” ways to be healthy such as a regulated diet or exercise. Other effective ways to help the obesity epidemic include pills or plastic surgery, which in turn require more pills to heal. After looking into the economic and political aspects behind obesity, it is easy to see how is can be considered an “illness” that requires biomedical intervention.

    “.” . http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp204-us14/files/2012/06/Conrad-and-Potter-From-hyperactive-children-to-adult-adhd.pdf (accessed August 2, 2014).

  2. Riasia Franklin says:

    I definitely agree and like your post about obesity and I also like the kind of advertisement you incorporated within you post. I like the fact that you explained how there are options for people who are suffering from being obese and how people can go different routes when treating obesity. I think the most effective way and healthier way to treat it would be to live a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly and eating a good diet. I believe that people who take the different diet pills actually see results but they might not last long because that could just be temporary water weight loss, maybe because if they lose the weight fast they can gain it back even faster.” Medicalization is, by definition, about the extension of medical jurisdiction or the expansion of medical boundaries.” I believe the cultural forces would be the family beliefs about the kinds of food to be consumed and the specific diet that specific cultures may follow, some cultures may eat a lot of bread which in fact would make them bigger people. The political/economical forces would be the fact that most families living in rural areas can’t afford to go to the market to buy health selections, especially if they have a big family to feed, so instead they would eat cheaper processed foods such as fast food. The historical forces might be that the family might have history of obesity or other diseases that are tied into obesity such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

    Sources :

    http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp204-us14/files/2012/06/Conrad-and-Potter-From-hyperactive-children-to-adult-adhd.pdf (accessed August 3 , 2014,).

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