The article I chose to summarize talks about obesity as a culture-bound syndrome and what culture-bound syndrome actually is. It is thought that these syndromes fall into categories that are defined by the native users and reflect real life experiences. It is talked about how in other societies is seen to be beautiful and a sign of having a lot of wealth. Yet, in the United States it is seen to be the exact opposite; unhealthy and often signs of poverty. In the United States, obesity is actually looked at and categorized as a disease. Obesity has become such a studied topic in biomedical research in the West because they are “closely tied to core societal values”(Ritenbaugh). At such a young age in Western culture the value of thinness is put into place. It is talked about how thinness today is related to wealth and being able to afford the best foods when a long time ago it used to be the opposite. Today, you can buy cheap foods that are not nutrient-dense which is likely for many people that are in poverty or just cannot afford healthy foods. For instance, anybody can go to McDonald’s and get a meal for under five dollars compared to going to the store and buying—let’s say ground turkey meat and fruits and veggies, which would cost more than double that amount. There are so many fast food chains in our nation that influences our culture and overall health. Furthermore, patients that exhibited obesity at first were in denial of their state! However, with the help of doctors they began to recognize and accept their condition.
There are many ways that people attempt to treat obesity such as: diet pills, surgery, weight-loss programs, and behavioral therapies, along with strict diet and exercise. However, many people are still considered obese according to their BMI. I have learned through other courses that BMI is not always an accurate way to categorize whether someone is obese or not. For instance, somebody who is a professional athlete is probably considered obese but they may be in perfect health.
Ritenbugh, C. (n.d.). Obesity as a culture-bound syndrome. Retrieved from http://www.springerlink.com.proxy2.cl.msu.edu/content/r2434r5278261km7/fulltext.pd