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Maladaptive illness

Maladaptive illness is illness that occurs as a result of new lifestyles. New lifestyles mean that the body has to function differently from what it is accustomed to and body traits change as a result. A good example is obesity. In societies before civilisation, obesity did not exist because people moved from place to place searching for new homes or food. Civilisation however ensured that people became restricted to one place and hardly moved because everything was made available nearby. Foods in older societies were also healthier as they were natural compared to today where food is manufactured and contains little or no nutrients. Manufactured food is also full of fat and salt and as a result obesity rates keep increasing. The combination of poor exercise, slow paced activities and the availability of food and calorie intake because of improved agriculture is the reason obesity rates may not drop for now.

Culture bound- syndrome is an illness that results from practices and beliefs in a particular culture. These types of illnesses are not a world phenomenon because they affect only the societies that believe in certain aspects that lead to the illnesses. An example of a culture bound-syndrome is Anorexia in the western countries. It is very difficult to spot anorexia in Africa because curvy women are more beautiful. Females in the west increasingly feel the pressure to remain thin because of exposure to advertisements where thin is ideal. Females in the west are more likely to suffer from anorexia because they have been socialized to think that thin is best and beautiful as fashion shows and beauty contests all praise certain body sizes. Females that don’t fit the advertised category weights are more likely to take extreme measures to become thin through denying themselves food and developing anorexia.