The holidays are marketed as a time to relax. However, for many they are anything but. Due to the extended family gatherings that people are obligated to attend, a significant number of Americans resort to a yearly facade to satisfy their many family members. Among the things they have to worry about is their weight. Family expectations combined with advertisements for drugs claiming to help keep holiday weight off or maintain your New Year’s resolution create an environment where intrusive thoughts thrive. Furthermore, it begs another question: why are so many people’s New Year’s resolutions centered around losing weight?
Although it is easy to pretend as though being overweight in the US is something that people have control over, the truth is that the out-of-control poverty levels combined with unattainable food prices cause many Americans to depend on fast food. Additionally, many Americans also work minimum wage jobs with fluctuating hours that don’t give them much time to workout compared to wealthier Americans.. Losing weight is inherently a privilege in the US.
The marketing of weight loss drugs such as Ozempic takes a very cultural stance when trying to appeal to customers. These companies recognize that their target audience is Americans who don’t have the time or money to achieve weight loss in other ways. For them, it is a marketing game; whereas for many Americans weight loss can lead to better health, which can then improve life in general. Vulnerabilities become a marketing strategy and so does joy.
This is what makes the holidays such a perfect opportunity for weight loss drug companies to rebrand. New ads are specifically made to target people who are left feeling a little empty after the holidays or whose family wouldn’t stop talking about their recent weight gain. The indulgence associated with the holidays quickly followed by New Years results in many Americans choosing to focus on eating less and working out more in the new year. However, this interest in losing weight isn’t as well-intentioned as many weight loss drug companies would like us to believe.
As obesity rates have tripled in the past 50 years, eating disorders have also become much more prevalent in society. The idea that weight loss is something that everyone should strive for e can be incredibly harmful, especially due to the unsustainability of healthy eating in the US. In truth, obesity needs to be tackled from a medical perspective, as many Americans are simply unable to access healthy food that makes them feel nourished for their day. The work culture, beauty standards and healthcare system in the US perpetuate the weight loss mentality, thus, weight loss drug companies have an easy time gaining customers around the holidays.
During this holiday season, it is important to keep in mind that we are all experiencing different things, and everyone’s “healthy” body looks different. Weight loss drugs are rarely the solution, and the manipulative marketing strategies of drug companies do not mean that they are the right option for you.