Stencil: Obesity

Who is to blame for obesity?

Zuza RosiƄska
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Our stencil project was designed to raise awareness for the general population about the ever-growing obesity epidemic; more specifically the factors that contribute to it's increase.  

We addresses how difficult it is to pin point one predominant factor as to why obesity rates in the UK have increased. External factors such as poverty, (in)accessibility of healthy food, and nutrition are all inter-linked and beyond an individual's control. It is up to the government in order to make sure children and adults all throughout the UK eat 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables per day, as well as getting at least an hours worth of exercise. Programmes encouraging cycling to work/school instead of cars is just one way the government can combat contributing factors of obesity.  There is also a stigma and an automatic thought process that occurs when people see an obese person, most immediately come to the conclusion that the individual eats large portion sizes of unhealthy food and does not exercise. However, that's not the case for every person effected by obesity as genetics also play an important role, which are beyond an individual's control.

Our project changed quite a lot from the initial ideas as we were planning to focus on a more specific issue, such as the pricing of healthy vs unhealthy foods, or how people's body weight is perceived in the society. However, after the initial prototype of "I eat therefore I am", we decided to shift our focus towards the causes of obesity in general. Instead of a statement focusing on a singular issue, we took all of the issues we researched at the beginning, and put them in a wheel of fortune. In the first iteration of that idea, a caricature of an obese person was looking at the wheel of causes of obesity. However, we felt that it didn't portray the key message well, so for the next iteration, we wrote "Who is to blame for obesity?" in a large font to emphasise the importance of it. We displayed the list of issues in a symmetrical wheel, which creates a pattern and is an unusual way of displaying information, all of which creates a strong visual impact. The text "All of them" is at the top of the wheel and is selected, which indicates a hierarchy showing that obesity shouldn't be blamed on a singular issue, all of them should be taken into account. 

Throughout the iterations, we tried to make the text consistent. If we had more time, we would try to make the text of the wheel more readable and proportionate by fitting it into the sections in a more creative way. We would also experiment more with the placement of "Who is to blame for obesity?" (or a better phrase) to fit more proportionally next to the wheel.