DVB302 – ‘Food for Thought’ Information Designs

‘Food for Thought’ is a series of physical and digital information designs which aim to communicate how supply of fatty foods has increased, and how peoples’ diets have changed over the years (1975 to 2013) because of it, with it leading on to how this has led to an increase in overweight and obesity rates (1975 to 2013) in particular countries which have large fat supplies and poor diets.

 

This series then compares the diet and obesity/overweight data with how different diseases which are caused by poor eating such as kidney cancer and liver cancer have risen in each country from 1990 to 2013. The first part of this story, titled ‘Changing Diets and Growing Bodies’, details exactly how the diets of Australia, the UK, the US, and Japan have changed from 1975 to 2013. This will be displayed physically in the form of bar graphs on the handles of forks and knives, and it will allow the viewer to compare them with plates which will display the rate of overweight and obesity in that country from 1975 to 2013. This will allow viewers to see for themselves how the diets of certain countries have become poorer, and how this has a correlation with how the percentage of overweight and obese people in those countries have increased between 1975 and 2013. Secondly, the next part of the story, which is called ‘The Fat Supply’, displays how the availability of fat in different foods has increased from 1975 to 2013, which shows why poor eating and fatty diets have increased from 1975 to 2013. The third and final part of this story, titled ‘The Deadly Consequences’, shows the viewer how the rise of people who are overweight or obese from 1975 to 2013 has a correlation with how deaths from diseases such as kidney cancer and liver cancer have risen as well. This section of the story also looks at deaths from cardiovascular (heart) disease, and how countries such as Japan have a significantly lower rate of heart disease than other countries with poorer diets. 

 

Overall, this project aims to show viewers how the increased supply of fat in countries such as the UK, US, and Australia has led to bad eating habits and diets over the years, and how this has led to an increase in the percentage of overweight or obese people in these countries over the years. Then, to conclude, the viewer will be able to see how this increase in overweight and obesity rates has a direct correlation with the increase in deaths from kidney cancer, liver cancer, and heart disease. The final aim of this project is to then have the viewers see how a country with a better average diet such as Japan has a significantly lower rate of overweight and obesity in its country, as well as lower rates of kidney cancer, liver cancer, and heart disease deaths per 100,000 people when taking the total population of each country into account. This will therefore show the viewer that having a better average diet will significantly lower their chances of being overweight or obese, as well as lower their chance of developing diseases such as kidney cancer, liver cancer, and heart disease. 

The process for this project started with research into statistics in different areas and topics, and once a topic (eating habits, obesity, and food-related death statistics) with a good amount of data was found, further research was conducted into these topics and an appropriate amount of data was retrieved. The next step was then to prototype and ideate different ways to portray this data in a physical and/or digital manner. Once the idea for representing some of the data in the form of a knife/fork/plate set was thought of, prototyping and ideating with this idea began and continued for a few weeks before settling on the final idea which can be seen. This idea was then constructed using a laser cutter to cut out the plate/knife/fork pieces and etch the obesity/overweight data on the plate. A sticker printer was then used to place the eating habits data on the knives and forks. Finally, a legend was printed on a ‘napkin’ to show what each colour on the knives and forks represented so that the user could read and interpret the data properly. 

Furthermore, two separate infographics were created to continue the story of how eating habits can lead to obesity and eventually death from a number diseases and cancers. The first poster seen above, titled ‘The Fat Supply’, shows how much fat has been delivered to households in the form of different processed foods from 1975 to 2013. The point of this poster is to show how the eating habits of people in these countries have changed because of how the amount of fat delivered to households has risen over 38 years. The second poster above, titled ‘The Deadly Consequences’, shows the number of deaths from kidney and liver cancer in each country from 1990 to 2013 in the form of a bar graph. In addition, the line graph at the bottom of the poster also displays the number of deaths (per 100, 000 people) from cardiovascular disease in each country from 1990 to 2013. This poster aims to show how the changing of eating habits and the rise in obesity rates has led to a rise in these different food-related diseases and cancers. 

A design document detailing the project concept, information design portfolio, data research and sources, technical data mappings, and data appendix can be found here:  Thomas Bancroft_N9949526_CLAB-07_Dusan Bojic_DVB302