In healthism, healthy behavior has become the paradigm for good living. Healthy men and women become model men and women. A kind of reductionism or one-dimensionalization seems to occur among healthists: more and more experiences are collapsed into health experience, more and more values into health values. Health, or its supreme — “super health” — subsumes a panoply of values: “a sense of happiness and purpose,” “a high level of self-esteem,” “work satisfaction,” “ability to engage in creative expression,” “capacity to function effectively under stress,” “having confidence in the future,” “a commitment to living in the world,” the ability “to celebrate one’s life,” or even “cosmic affirmation.” “Health is more than the absence of disease…,” writes one of the new pulpiteers (49, p. x), “it includes a fully productive, self-realized, expanded life of joy, happiness, and love in and for whatever one is doing.” In the “high level of wellness” ethic, “health is freedom in the truest sense — freedom from aimlessness, being able to express a range of emotions freely, a zest for living.” (67) In short, health has become not only a preoccupation; it has also become a pan-value or standard by which an expanding number of behaviors and social phenomena are judged. Less a means toward the achievement of other fundamental values, health takes on the quality of an end in itself.
Crawford, Robert. “Healthism and the medicalization of everyday life.” International journal of health services 10, no. 3 (1980): 365-388.
I want to ask why this isn’t considered a religion, but then again, we know why.