Lay conceptions of health are shaped by a variety of demographic, social, and personal factors. Research has focused on psychological and sociological perspectives, and three core models have dominated the field: the cognitive developmental model, the health locus of control model, and the so-called health belief model. Societal factors have been less studied. On the basis of a meta model we discuss how changes in prevalence of disease and disease panorama, social network, the experience of uncertainty, and the medical focus on risk may have impact on lay conceptions of health and disease. The joint effect of the medical focus on risk and disintegrating social networks seems to be the central force behind medicalization.