Post 7: Collaborative Issue Mapping – What We Thought Is Serious

Written by Meiying Lin

Within week five class, I am glad to have an opportunity to work with Lia, Julie and Susan again to undertake the collaborative issue mapping exercise in order to develop and push forward our own issue topic. According to tutor’s instruction, we did two issue maps individually, after we finished our own maps, we gave each other feedback and help to develop each others map. I gain plenty of interesting ideas and research during this exercise. It was a valuable and helpful experience as we were all working on a different aspect in obesity and healthy living.

Within this project, I would like to focus fast food branding and advertising. My group mates helped me to expand my maps specifically. Such as a few possible emotions and movements. The map below has displayed the actors involved in the fast food industry, and a few possible activities/movement and emotions of the actors.

Map One: Actors

As you can see, obesity and healthy living are a big issue that involves various groups of people even we break down to a specific area. Beyond that, there is a strong connection between a different group of actors. For instance creator such as designers, advertisement writers and photographers play an important role in expanding the fast food industry. They help to create eye-catching advertisements for fast food companies to influence the individual’s eating habits.

Base on the actor map, I create another map to clarify the controversy of my issue.

Map Two: Controversy

There are lots of controversy within my issue. The most important issue is the boundary between healthy and unhealthy fast food is unclear. According to Julie’s opinion, she thought Subway is a healthy fast food company because the consumer can choose to add lots of veggies. However, Subway also provides various cheeses and sauces which make their food unhealthy. These have made lots of consumers confused. On the other hand, Susan mentions that the label on the food package and food advertisement also make consumer confused. I believed we all familiar with the word such as ‘organic’, ‘healthy choice’ and ‘sugar-free’, however, are they really that healthy? McDonald said they are ‘healthy choice’; Coca-Cola said their products are ‘sugar-free’… I think it is a question that needs to be answered.

In conclusion, I really happy with my final maps. My group mates have been really helpful within this exercise because we were researching different aspect in obesity and healthy living. There are lots of connections between our research which really opened my mind and helped to develop my maps and my final proposal.

For my final proposal, I would like to promote the healthy fast food industry. Firstly, I need to clarify the boundary between healthy fast food and unhealthy fast food. Secondly, it would be nice to help improve a few existed healthy fast food brandings such as their packaging and/or advertising. Thirdly, I would like to promote the healthy fast food on social media platforms such as on Facebook and Instagram.

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