The Trap of Consumerism and Health

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Health is an increasing value in America, especially in our time and age where obesity is considered an “epidemic” and liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the world. There is currently a surplus of weight loss and diet fads ranging from diet pills to slimming waist trainers sported by celebrities like the Kardashians. However, how many of these fads are really making you healthier? Many corporations are cashing in on people’s insecurities by creating these “get skinny” quick schemes. It would seem that a lot of these ploys are about looking good rather than feeling good.

Do They Work?

Recently, Dr. Oz went under fire for claiming that Raspberry Ketone and Green Coffee Bean Extract pills are “miracle weight loss pills.” However, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “more than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese.” If these pills are a magical miracle, then why are so many Americans still overweight?

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“But I’m so innocent!

Let’s Get the Facts Straight

A bottle of these supplements typically come in two sizes, 30 or 60 supplements. Depending on the brand, a bottle of 60 can cost about $16 dollars. It is instructed to take a pill with each meal, that’s three pills a day so a bottle would last you less than a month. Most pills claim all these great fantastical things but all of their studies and statistics are not actually tested on humans. According to the Huffington Post, “to date, there have been no human studies showing that raspberry ketones burn fat or benefit your weight loss.” Existing studies have actually been done on rats! Although we are all living things, the human body is very different from that of a rodent’s.

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What Should I Do Then?

Pills that claim you do not need diet and exercise are just plain silly. These “get skinny” quick schemes fool people by saying things like, “Get the body you deserve now! Try ________.” But in reality, there can’t be results without hard work. There’s no magic drink, pill, or fairy dust to sprinkle over your food that will make you healthy. This is the trap that consumerism sets in their sales of health products.

The power of health lies within ourselves. In our efforts, our determination, and our happiness. Only you can make you healthy. We live in a time where people are stigmatized for bad and good health. The way we are taught to perceive things are: A few extra pounds? Blame their eating habits. A few pounds lighter? Give credit to the supplement pills. Society teaches us to view things in binaries: beautiful/ugly, small/big. Because of that, we often can only see things as good or bad. However, think of it this way, muscles weigh more than fat. Someone whom is muscular and completely healthy may weigh the same, even more than someone with a higher body fat percentage. Being skinny does not define being healthy. We have overbearing social constructs trying to impose themselves on us, but we have the power to define ourselves. We can’t necessarily control what people think about us, but we can control how we feel.