Obesity

The role of medications in American society in the contexts of medicalization is described as having control of ones body by the use of medications such as antibiotics and depressants and etc. The use of medications in American society in contexts of biomedicalization is described as the bettering or enhancement of ones body through the use of medications. Medications are leaned on and used heavily in the American society, rarely do doctors use home remedies or rituals and things of that sort to cure someone of illness. Biomedicalization is the use of medicines to basically enhance appearance, which may not be necessary,  while medicalization is trying to cure a certain health problem with medical intervention, which usually is necessary.  Taking medication is now the norm for Americans, whether it is needed or not. What it says about our culturevalues on health is that medication is NEEDED for a healthy lifestyle when in my opinion that is not true. For some illnesses, yes medication should be used, but for enhancement,  no medication should not be used if there really is no problem present.

The example from the “Pill Poppers” video was a great example of the distinguishing of medicalization and biomedicalization.  Men with an actual erectile dysfunction needed medication to cure their issue which is the medicalization aspect, but men who just wanted to enhance and better their sex performance would take the medication when it was not needed is the biomedicalization aspect of it. People in American society constantly find things that are not to their liking about themselves so they believe it is a problem and needs to be treated for their own satisfaction when in all actuality it is really no problem.

I feel that obesity is heavily medicalized and biomedicalized in our society.  The media has this image that they believe everyone should look like so people do any and everything to tryto looklike that image. People take pills, go on diets, starve themselves,  over exercise and all sorts of things.  Doctors prescribe medications and give dieting instructions to people wno are above the standard weightfor their height (obese) because it is unhealthy and can cause other health related issues but people who just feel they are obese when they are not to get this certain look try to go on the same diets and take the same medicine when it can be unhealthy for them. Obesity is advertised in all different types of ways, especially when people are trying to lower their weight, thereis slim fast, jenny craig diet, amd dietary supplements. A very common dietary supplement is Relacore dietary supplement pills which supposedly get rid of belly fat http://www.relacore.com

In my opinion, obesity is a major health issue but the method of dietary supplements are not the way to go because a person still needs real food in order to obtain nutrients, vitamins, and etc. Especially if a person who is not considered obese should not be taking supplements as a biomedicalization method because it could lead to problems.

 

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Hannah Weiss says:

    Excessive fat on a person in our society is looked upon as unhealthy and unattractive. Socially it can be very hard for an over weight or obese individual to be comfortable and accepted in today’s culture. People with access body fat are seen as unfit and unable to take care of themselves. Although there is an increase in obese people pills are not the answer to solving someones weight issues. The western society wants a pill for everything. It is an easy solution with no effort needed to put forth. Weight loss is a personal and individualized issue that a pill is not going to be able to solve overnight. Our culture will do anything for fast, easy results and others are able to make money off of these people. This condition is seen as an illness because obesity is so detrimental to a persons health. Being obese can cause other serious health issues and can lead to death. Obesity in children and adults is such a growing issue that bio-medicalization has tried to interfere to find a way to solve these issues with an easy fix. Instead this “illness” should be approached in a different matter. Including exercise, diet change, and counseling to solve the issues behind this illness.

    Conrad, Peter, and Deborah Potter. “From Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults: Observations on the Expansion of Medical Categories.” Social Problems 47, no. 4 (November 2000): 559-582.

  2. Connor DeMars says:

    Obesity is a definitely very medicalized in our society. When someone is walking around with excess fat, most are not comfortable because of the way society views obesity these days. From a social perspective, obesity is looked upon as someone who is lazy and fat, but really it is a severe illness. Medically, they are always trying to make obesity pills and a variety of other immediate, easy fat loss supplements. Obesity pills are not as effective as something such as excursive and changing your diet. The pills could make you lose weight too fast, and be unhealthy for you, which could result in excess skin hanging from your body. Many people see pills as a fast and easy fix to obesity. What they don’t understand is that companies are just promoting their product in such a way that obese people think it can almost happen over night. This is not the case. Also, when you stop taking them, you will just gain the fat right back up, which is why exercise and diet change are the most long-lasting weight loss techniques today. As a society, we need to change our views on obesity and actually try those who are obese to follow a strict weight loss plan that is safe and effective.

    Potter, Deborah. “From Hyperactive Children To ADHD Adults: Observations On The Expansion Of Medical Categories.” Social Problems: 559-582.

  3. Connor DeMars says:

    Obesity is a definitely very medicalized in our society. When someone is walking around with excess fat, most are not comfortable because of the way society views obesity these days. From a social perspective, obesity is looked upon as someone who is lazy and fat, but really it is a severe illness. Medically, they are always trying to make obesity pills and a variety of other immediate, easy fat loss supplements. Obesity pills are not as effective as something such as excursive and changing your diet. The pills could make you lose weight too fast, and be unhealthy for you, which could result in excess skin hanging from your body. Many people see pills as a fast and easy fix to obesity. What they don’t understand is that companies are just promoting their product in such a way that obese people think it can almost happen over night. This is not the case. Also, when you stop taking them, you will just gain the fat right back up, which is why exercise and diet change are the most long-lasting weight loss techniques today. As a society, we need to change our views on obesity and actually try those who are obese to follow a strict weight loss plan that is safe and effective.

    Potter, Deborah. “From Hyperactive Children To ADHD Adults: Observations On The Expansion Of Medical Categories.” Social Problems: 559-582.

  4. Connor DeMars says:

    Obesity is a definitely very medicalized in our society. When someone is walking around with excess fat, most are not comfortable because of the way society views obesity these days. From a social perspective, obesity is looked upon as someone who is lazy and fat, but really it is a severe illness. Medically, they are always trying to make obesity pills and a variety of other immediate, easy fat loss supplements. Obesity pills are not as effective as something such as excursive and changing your diet. The pills could make you lose weight too fast, and be unhealthy for you, which could result in excess skin hanging from your body. Many people see pills as a fast and easy fix to obesity. What they don’t understand is that companies are just promoting their product in such a way that obese people think it can almost happen over night. This is not the case. Also, when you stop taking them, you will just gain the fat right back up, which is why exercise and diet change are the most long-lasting weight loss techniques today. As a society, we need to change our views on obesity and actually try those who are obese to follow a strict weight loss plan that is safe and effective.

    Potter, Deborah. “From Hyperactive Children To ADHD Adults: Observations On The Expansion Of Medical Categories.” Social Problems: 559-582.

  5. Taylor Smith says:

    As our culture continues to become more and more sedentary than ever before in history, it is no surprise that obesity rates have skyrocketed. Add in the availability and advertising of unhealthy, fattening, and cheap fast food options, gas station junk food snacks, and the creation of new candies, cookies, and chips galore, our society has started some nasty habits. But just as these people prefer to sit on the couch and watch TV, they prefer to take the easy way out in the struggle with their weight. 50 years ago, if someone was categorized as obese their only option was to change their dietary and lifestyle habits. They must exercise and eat nutritional, smaller portioned meals. Today however, the options are endless. It is almost impossible to turn on the television to any station for 30 minutes without seeing at least a couple advertisements for the latest fad diet, supplements, diet pills, or workout equipment. Not to mentioned the more invasive surgical options like liposuction, bariatric surgery, and plastic surgeries. Yes, obesity is more common now than at any point in history, but the media also adds to the medicalization of being overweight because Americans have an idealized image of what they are “supposed” to look like compared to models and celebrities. Although I think that we need to step back and revert to the ways of the past, not only for weight loss, but also for lifestyle in general; I feel that we are on a slippery slope and things will only get worse from here.

    Conrad, Peter, and Deborah Potter. “From Hyperactive Children To ADHD Adults: Observations On The Expansion Of Medical Categories.” Social Problems 47: 559-582.

  6. Megan Bergeron says:

    I think that obesity is definitely a part of our society that does not need to be medicalized. Yes, obesity is an issue (especially in America), but I believe that it does not require biomedical intervention. Obesity in the culture of today is viewed as not only unattractive to many, but unhealthy as well. Obesity can cause people health, relationship and employment problems. We all think that there is a pill, or cure to all of our problems. We don’t want to work hard for anything. We want the easy solution. Weight loss pills, more often then not, do not help people in the long run. The easy solution is not always the best solution. I think that the correct solution to the issue of obesity requires hard work. Obese individuals should eat right, work out and take care of their bodies. When compared to past generations our society is much more privileged and lazy, lazy, lazy! We have cars, we have televisions, we have air conditioning, and we have a wide variety of unhealthy foods. All of these things that we view as good, are causing obesity. They cause people to exercise less, leave the house less, and eat more poorly.

  7. Ashley Webb says:

    Alli is a weight management pill, and culturally we fixate on each other’s weight: women must be slender to the point where it’s sickening, and men should be in tip-top shape. Weight loss is more prevalent in women and is clearly expressed through ads like these, only showing women dealing with the scale and fighting weight loss. Politically, Alli is showing how much of a benefit taking their medication would be. A direct quote from the ad: “You have the will, we have the power” is insinuating their empowerment and subtly encouraging the outside help of weight loss since doing it your own won’t be nearly as effective. By advertising that you could lose up to 50% more with the pill, they will definitely lure people in and greatly profit. All of these aspects of the commercial are reframing this condition to be an illness that requires this medication. This ad is in a way discoursing viewers who are trying to manage their weight but are plateauing, not succeeding, or want to lose those extra couple pounds by saying how much more they could lose by just taking the Alli. Watching this ad, one could self diagnose that they need this extra boost in order to finally shed the pounds that they wanted, or use this as an easy fix for temporary satisfaction, and ultimately put them out of their misery of trying to lose weight by themselves. Companies targeting these culturally shaped illnesses by reframing symptoms emphasize the social factors that contribute to diagnostic expansion. As stated by Conrad, the managed care that our society has now is restricting on the health insurances that are provided to us. Also, he mentioned “a recent study that found that managed care might fuel growth in the pharmaceutical industry.” The study was dead on! By having managed care, it increases the potential for relying on prescribed medication for treatment. These social factors’ influences that were predicted a decade ago were quite accurate. The Alli advertisement is a great example.

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