False medicalization

Other Names:
Politically motivated diagnostic labelling
Unwarranted disease specification

Medical problems are taken seriously by the public. Thus if one wishes for political or other reasons to draw attention to, receive funding for work on, or eradicate a problem, it may be useful to give the problem medical status or a medical label. Those whose lives are caught up with the problem, including students of it, may be unwittingly biased toward giving it a high status label.


The controversial associations between obesity, diabetes and heart disease may be due in part to a desire of some medical researchers to eradicate obesity. Obesity is frowned upon culturally in the Western world. By giving it the status of a medical disorder and interpreting research results to link it to disease, the medical profession justifies a war on obesity and its treatment with drugs.


Broader Problems:
Unprofessional science
Related Problems:
Problem Type:
G: Very specific problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Date of last update
20.12.2017 – 18:14 CET