This paper examines the link between lipophobia and representations and
experiences of obesity in Catalonia (Spain) from two points of view: that of
the physicians and other health professionals who diagnose and treat obesity as
an illness, and that of their patients,
especially those between adolescence and early adulthood. The
qualitative data demonstrate that the increasing social rejection of fat people
can be traced not only to moralizing discourses on “excessive” food consumption
or the commodification of slenderness and health, but also to the recent
definition of obesity as a disease. The medicalization of fatness, far from
helping to destigmatize obesity, is becoming a way of resignifying it in moral terms. While doctors’ and patients’ perspectives
diverge in some ways, they converge in others. In this text, I focus on the
points of convergence arguing that biomedical understandings of obesity and
overweight are characterized by a profound ambivalence. Young patients are
regarded both as innocent victims of a permissive consumer society, and guilty
of not following doctors’ orders. Although the family is held accountable for
overweight or obesity in children, as young people become more independent,
guilt is individualized and environmental causes are limited to inappropriate diet
and insufficient exercise. Most narratives of young people with weight problems
reflect similar ideas about the causes and the responsibility for obesity.
Their acceptance of the basic premise that deviating from weight standards and
rules for healthy eating are voluntary actions leads them to lose faith in themselves.
The stigmatization of obesity thus becomes a vicious circle: the obese acceptance—even
consider normal—the incriminations leveled at them, and blame themselves for their situation and their inability to
The difficulties in communication about sexuality-related matters in HIV prevention require appropriate research approaches. Scenarios can be useful in qualitative, quantitative research methods and interventions related to sensitive cognitive issues of human sexuality. This paper presents an analysis of the use of scenarios in HIV/AIDS prevention research from the literature and empirical evidence. Examples of scenario-based instrument development research studies in safer sex communication for the prevention of HIV/AID by Kalichman (2000) and Magowe (2006) are provided. A computer-based search of articles addressing the use of case scenarios in research was conducted on Google and Google scholar, using the following search terms: “case scenarios”, “scenarios in research”, case scenarios in safer sex negotiation: “case scenarios in safer sex communication”, “case scenarios in dyadic communication”, “partner communication”, “case research”, “vignettes in HIV/AIDS research”, and, “sexuality related vignettes”. Papers included provided the definition, purpose, components, types of scenarios, use of scenarios in safer sex communication. Examples are drawn from instruments development studies using with case scenarios. Twenty-nine documents were retrieved, and eight of these studies addressed the use of scenarios in research. Five studies were specifically on HIV prevention research, focusing on safer sex communication, negotiation or couple/partner communication. The content of the studies included the definition of scenarios, case scenarios and vignettes; purpose and use of scenarios in research. Studies showed that scenarios are useful in qualitative elicitation of themes and content for instrument development for further quantitative research. Nursing deals with sensitive and complex cognitive issues in human behavior, and therefore scenario-based research can help develop personoriented research and interventions while protecting the individual’s privacy and confidentiality.