Obesity and the Technological Fix: Weight Loss Surgery in American Women

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Virginia Tech

This thesis is an analysis of how societal values shape our ideas of health and disease, the designs and marketing of weight loss surgery technologies, and the ways in which obesity reducing-operations are accepted and desired. Gender ideologies, American values of commodity capitalism, treatment that focuses on the individual, and a moral aversion to fat have all shaped the medical treatment of obesity as an epidemic and the promotion of weight loss surgery as the best available solution. In this project, I approach the question of obesity by deconstructing the terms that have framed it as a social problem and I show how and why specific technological remedies have been pursued. My thesis is that among obese Americans, females and their bodies are especially stigmatized and pathologized. Because of this, efforts and applications of science, technology, medicine, and policy focus to "fix" these bodies/people, which are considered out of control.

weight loss surgery, technological fix, Obesity