Throughout the weeks, I have been researching very deeply into the issues of obesity and healthy living. As I looked into many issues, I started specifically focusing on an area that was interesting and came up with a design proposition as a possibility to assist the issue. The problem I have been focusing on was the effect of promoting plus size models on media which was a way of normalising and encouraging obesity. This makes one feel positive and confident about their body shape but it also demotivates them to be in a healthy shape. My initial design proposition was “to make people who are simply used to living in their size feel the satisfaction and the reward of weight loss through a competition where the participants can win a fashion voucher to spend at a clothing store for their new shape which will be the drive of motivation.” My classmate’s feedback to this proposition was that she liked the idea of making them feel the satisfaction but suggested of creating something that is rewarded upfront so they feel the satisfaction as the drive of motivation instead of having a reward that they can only experience when they achieve it.
From this class session, I have come up with new ideas in ways I can give experience to them to feel the reward ahead so it becomes their motivation to take action and achieve their goal. The new ideas were creating a feathery experience for them to physically feel themselves in a fit body shape with controlled gravity, visualising their body in a slim healthy appearance with a computer generated mirror, High tech device that can clear the mental health issues caused by obesity, and rewarding people with fashion vouchers that has a system to only allow the purchase of clothing that is a size below their body size.
These new ideas were presented to my tutor and with great feedback, I was able to develop and revise my design proposition and created a service design is called “we drive motivation”. Firstly because we drive one’s motivation, and secondly, the service design is on wheels and drives around local areas and giving the experience and motivation to people. My new proposition is “to provide overweight or obese people an experience of what it feels like to have a fit body. Focusing on the feeling of the weightlessness, my aim is to give those who had lived years with a heavy body an enlightening and pleasing experience with those excess weights off their joints. This allows them to feel the satisfaction and reward upfront which can create their starting point. The design action to support change will be carried out with a flyer/ poster design to promote the “we drive motivation” campaign.
After the 5 W’s exercise, we’ve also helped each other map out the possible design solutions of our individual issues. We were to divide the solutions into three categories; service design, generative systems and data visualisation. The strengths of the process were being able to gather different ideas from different perspectives and gaining much more insight into design possibilities that I have not thought about. In my opinion, this is one of the most helpful maps out of the many we created throughout the semester. The mapping and my group was helpful in leading me to a more interesting design proposition idea.
In this week’s class, we were asked to respond to the questions of who, what, when, where and how in the issues we have been closely researching and understanding. The issue that I have been closely looking into was the effects of promoting plus size models and with the understanding I have built past many weeks, I have responded to the questions as the following.
who does the problem affect?
Promoting plus size models may affect any female or male in any age group who watches TV, reads magazines, uses social media or has other ways of being exposed to the models. Promoting plus size models may have greater chance of effecting those who are overweight, obese or have body consciousness because it plus size models could become their role model. They may gain self confidence and body positivity which is great but it will not be great to be diagnosed with illness caused by obesity.
Parents may be a great influence and have affect on their children with the food choice they buy and make for them if they themselves are influenced by the models. Furthermore, there may be an increase in sales for food industries, especially unhealthy or fast food companies as more and more consumers are exposed to the plus sized models and have shifted thoughts of a standard healthy body. Gradually, If the number of people who are affected increase, then doctors and health experts may also be affected too in the increase in number of patients.
what are the boundaries of the problem?
Some people might not know how much promoting plus size models can have great affect on encouraging and normalising obesity. Also, not having plus size models can be discriminating body size and become an issue.
when does the problem occur? what does it need to be freed?
Being exposed to the promotion of plus size models can occur any time when watching tv, reading a magazine, on social media or through an advertisement on the streets. When a person is affected by the plus size models, and it becomes their inspiration or something that gives them self comfort, they might not feel the guilt of intaking more food than you need. And if they don’t get enough exercise required to burn the calories of the food eaten repeatedly for weeks, then the fat will continuously start to build. To be freed, people need to know more of the risk factors and that it is not something to be ignorant about because anyone can be at risk.
If someone is exposed to plus size models in any way, being inspired can happen anywhere such as at home or out on the streets.
why is it important?
plus size models are great to visualise the fit of the plus size clothing, and may give body positivity to one increasing one’s self esteem but it could be considered as encouraging obesity and will slowly start to normalise obesity. If the increasing number of plus size models affect the increase in the number of obese people in the world, it will also increase the number of people diagnosed with symptoms caused by obesity.
Five point summary
Obesity not only affects your health and body image but also influences the people and industries around you.
promoting plus size models can be seen good because it also has positive sides to it. For example, it will increase one’s self esteem and give them body positivity.
Although promoting plus size models can be seen as good, the health risks are always a danger and an issue.
We don’t want to discriminate plus sizes so we are aware that promoting plus size models are needed.
It only takes a second for someone to be inspired by something so being exposed to plus size models can influence someone’s life quickly.
To create a design that educates people of the risks caused by obesity.
In class, we revisited the mapping of human and non human stakeholders from week 3 in our groups which was an opportunity for us to further expand our knowledge and discover new actors of our issue that hasn’t crossed our mind yet. Differently from week 3, we explored the actors in much more depth and we began by creating 4 major actors; humans, habits, networks and medical. From there, we started branching out the specific actors that were relevant to the main actors. For example, Social media that was branched out of networks was further broken down into naming specific media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Tumblr.
Mapping 2: Controversies
We continued to work in groups through the second mapping exercise which outlined the controversies from the actors mapping exercise. The controversies we have discovered were the following:
plus size models VS skinny models
fast food industries VS health experts
time VS reality
will VS need of help
Listing the controversies were helpful in the way that it allowed us to look into both sides of the debate and gave insights into new areas. Out of these controversies, we decided to play around the debate of plus size models VS skinny models. This debate evolved around the issue of increase in plus size models. If we promoted plus size models, it is considered equivalent to promoting obesity, but if we only promote skinny models, it is considered discriminating towards plus sized people. From this, we discovered that todays society sets the new standard of “normality”. The more something becomes common, the more “normal” it gets. Therefore, those who agree to promoting plus size models have shifted minds and accepted the ‘new’ normal, whereas, those who don’t agree in promoting plus size models have unchanged from what they believe as the ‘real’ normal.
Reflection Through co creating maps, we were able to broaden and gain deeper understanding of the complex and broad issue, also covering further knowledge on our area of focus. As a group, we helped each other fill in the knowledge gaps by sharing thoughts and ideas on the same piece of paper and discussing the issue closely as a group.
In my design proposition, I would like to work towards creating educational services, and motivational programs. Through research, I have found that many people are ignorant about the health risks caused by obesity, so I feel that creating more awareness about healthy living is very important. Also would like to work with generating a service design to help people be motivated to take action and live a healthier life.
In my recent posts, I have been focusing on the issue of the media supporting obesity through the promotion and acceptance of plus sized models. This is quite positive and can help raise one’s self esteem however it may also be damaging. To explore the opinions and reactions of the public I have used the social media platform, Twitter, to analyse the data.
Twitter can be very useful in obtaining the views of the public and it’s a forum where people can share their opinions and also find out the opinions of others.
As mentioned, Twitter is commonly used as a mini blog site where users share their views in 140 characters or less and are able to add videos or images that relate or support the words.Twitter allows convenient and easy global communication between people who uses the platform. Users who find someone else’s tweet inspiring, interesting or important can respond by re-tweeting, liking (with the heart symbol), or commenting. These actions then lead to greater spreading of the word. Twitter also has features that allow users to @mention to notify someone in a tweet, follow another twitter user, send direct private messages between following users, and hashtag a topic for other users to find your tweets based on topics.
Twitter has a maximum word limit of 140 words per tweet and direct messages, a limit of 50 @mentions per Tweet, up to 4 images represented by a single URL, 1 GIF, or 1 video. Adding links can give you a disadvantage as it may be counted towards the tweet word limit reducing the number of characters available to convey your message. Twitter is mostly used by businesses who want to build their company brand as well as saving the costs of advertisements, bloggers who want to share ideas and articles and social users who like to see the latest news or what celebrities and friends are up to. It is more frequently becoming a place for people to share their political views.
Twitter has an ‘advanced search’ ability which allows users to search topics of their interest. They can refine their search as specific as they would like through the features of hashtags, keywords, country, dates, phrases, as well as excluding words for unwanted searches. For example, when I only searched for ‘obesity’, the advanced search gave me a very broad result making it hard to find the specific tweets I wanted to read, therefore to really narrow down to find the tweets that I wanted to see, I had to include an exact phrase or words that must be included in the tweet.
I have included the key words ‘plus, size, and model’ into my advanced search as well as ‘obese, obesity, clothing and fashion’ as words that might be used to help search my results. Surprisingly, most tweets that I have found were positive about plus size models. Most Tweets were by media and advertising campaigns however which supported plus sized models were rather conflicting however and demonstrated with the screenshots below.
Some users complained that the images of plus size models that the media tweeted were not big enough. The plus size model in the image had a chubby body shape but users denied that she was a plus size which raised the question of what is the standard of a plus size model? On the flipside, some users were upset at the tweets that were promoting plus size models because they believe it is supportive and encouraging people with obesity.
it was interesting to see what people thought about the plus size models. Most people were disappointed and upset at the media because the plus size model had an “average” or “normal” sized body and was actually “too skinny for a plus size model”.
1.Majority of the tweets were positive and were supporting the plus size models and their body positivity
2. There were different views on the definition of a plus sized model.
3. There were conflicting views on the media promoting plus size models.
4. Twitter is used as a medium by which people can share ideas and opinions.
5.Social media can be used as a method to find out statistical information.
To gain a greater understanding of how people understand obesity and healthy living, I asked a classmate who is in her 20s some open ended questions about the issues.
I was aware that she had great knowledge of obesity and healthy living as she has been conducting research and studying the issue. I chose her because she is a student with in depth knowledge of the issue to observe and compare to see if she had similar or conflicting views to mine.
I asked her a range of questions which were as described below:
1.How would you define ‘obesity’?
2. What are all the possible consequences / risks of obesity?
3. What do you define as a healthy body?
4. How does obesity affect daily life?
5. How would you know if you were overweight or obese and how can you prevent it?
She answered the first question by defining obesity as wearing XL/XXL clothing, having a very high BMI and suffering from obesity related diseases such as high blood pressure and Diabetes.
Her answers proved she had excellent knowledge of obesity as she responded to most of the questions in depth without hesitation. She also gave a great definition and a good example of a healthy body referring to the “BMI levels” and showed she had similar understandings as I did.
One interesting finding was when she answered the question, “how does obesity affect daily life?”
She gave many examples such as struggling to walk up stairs and needing extra space in public transport. She then talked about a self esteem related issue which was not being able to wear beautiful clothes saying that beautiful clothes don’t come in larger sizes so choices are limited. She then added that they “do not look as good”.
I found this response interesting because it was an answer she thought would affect everyone in general. She thought everyone would care about fashion and image in the same way that she did. She said it affected daily life however other people may not think that limited fashion choices is an issue. After answering this question I was able to analyse the interviewee’s thoughts about the issue which revealed how she personally felt about body image.
I was then drawn to ask her about the health risks of obesity to which she named, “high blood pressure, Diabetes and Cancer.” Her answer here was not as in depth as with the other questions. This demonstrated that she had a weak understanding of the health risks caused by obesity, therefore I decided to probe further to understand why her knowledge of the health risks was much weaker than other areas.
It was interesting in gain insights from a student who has studied a fair depth of the issue and comparing her opinions and understandings with mine. However, next time I would be interested in gaining insights from someone who has not studied the issue and analyse their opinions and knowledge of the issue.
During the interview I found out that although she knew the general risks of obesity such as high blood pressure, Diabetes and Cancer, she lacked in depth knowledge.
To determine if I could get any further insight into her knowledge on the risks, I designed a small task that would give me more answers to her understanding on obesity that wasn’t reflected in her initial answers.
I compiled a list of physical health and mental health risks and asked the interviewee to place the ones she thought were caused by obesity inside the “tick” circle and the risks that were not caused by obesity in the circle marked “X”. The list of risk factors I gave her were all a risk caused by obesity and therefore as they were all correct they should have been placed on the “tick” circle.
Despite this, she only placed 7 of the 15 risks on the “tick” circle and 8 on the “X” circle. The risks that the interviewee believed were cause by obesity were ‘high blood pressure, diabetes, abnormal blood fat, heart disease, cancer, blood clot and “maybe” depression.’ This task showed me that she was actually aware of other risks that she hadn’t mentioned before, however she didn’t realise that other factors such as sleep Apnea, eating disorder, stroke, anxiety, reproductive problems, osteoarthritis (joint problem of the knees, hips and lower back), heart attack and heart failure were caused by obesity.
On completion of the task, I revealed the answer to the probe which gave her a surprise. Then I asked her opinion on the following question:
Do you think people become obese because they are not educated/have no great knowledge of the risks that will be caused by obesity?
She responded by saying “yes because we are ignorant about things like that. People simply don’t care and don’t think about the risks before eating.”
She then said how she would feel if she was obese, she would lose weight for the body appearance but not because of the fear that she will be diagnosed with a disease. She was surprised when she heard all of the risk factors from the list were related to obesity. She has “memories of being educated about the risks in primary school and high school but does not remember the types of risks”. She adds that “children do not care about learning things like that”.
Five point summary:
1. People are ignorant about the risks caused by obesity
2. People have concerns and are conscious about their body image.
3. Children and students are educated at a young age but don’t remember them because it wasn’t important to them.
4. People are well aware of how to prevent obesity
5. It is more likely that people get motivated to lose weight for their body image than their health.
In class, our group who are focused on the study of obesity and healthy living came up with a list of the human and non human stakeholders. Then we grouped the stakeholders that had similarities and also arranged them in an order from those who the most influence to those who had the least influence in the issue.
This exericse gave me a great understanding of who and what was involved in the issue of obesity and also helped me to become aware of some stakeholders that hasn’t crossed my mind before. Below is a reorganised map of the human and non human participants exercise.
Worldwide obesity has reached crisis point. It has almost doubled since 1980 causing people to suffer from serious diseases. Health organisations are therefore trying to get people to take the message seriously to reduce instances of obesity.
Below, I have collected 10 images of which I thought had a powerful impression.
This image was designed to increase awareness of childhood obesity and to inform people on what they should do to prevent the issue.
Megancederbaum has conveyed the message of issue of obesity through the enormous proportion of the unhealthy fast food categorised ‘hamburger’.
This is an image of a health campaign that strongly reflects our society and children’s daily life today. Today’s technology has caused people to be less active because they can just sit down at their computers or TVs without ever being physical. This campaign highlights that we, as adults who know the consequences of obesity are responsible of the child’s health. It shows we are actually causing are children harm by letting them. play video games and that if we truly love them we should encourage them to be fit and healthy by being physically active.
This is a strong obesity ad campaign that clearly delivers the message before even reading the context. It has a lot of visual impact because it shows just how large people are becoming. It was designed to promote a chain of health clubs in Brazil and it communicates “Suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret”. and the great visual impact brings motivation and inspiration to those who want to lose weight.
The French Ministry of Health ad campaign addresses a big issue that many children are suffering from obesity. With easy access to junk foods such as ‘ice cream’ as well as decreased physical activity in children today, they are increasing awareness of the issue that”obesity starts at a young age.” This message demonstrates that obesity starts as just one ice cream and then before you know it you’re obese.
The Department of Health and Human Services have put forward an ad campaign to raise awareness of the serious consequences that might be faced with we are not careful about our eating habits. The image suggest that fast food in general is as bad as smoking cigarettes and its death rate is starting to overtake the death rate caused by smoking.
This image visually communicates the message that video games and spending too much time at home inactive can make you obese.
This image displays how much sugar is contained in a coke or other soft drinks which can bring a big shock to the unhealthy drinkers. The image can influence people’s choices of what they consume and hopefully result in healthier habits.
This anti obesity campaign shows that a banana can kill obesity by using a strong visual representation.
This image communicates a very direct message of the risks that can be caused by obesity both visually and verbally. The man in the background has a missing leg and we can assume that he had an amputation as a result of obesity related disease. It is a frightening but realistic way to approach the people who are overweight or obese.
This is an image of two 12 year old boys suffering from obesity yet being fed McDonalds. Children are too young to understand the consequences of what they are consuming, so it is the parents’ and caregiver’s duty to give their children healthy meals and keep them in a healthy shape. If they fail to provide them with the food and exercise they need and leave them neglected to become obese, the shouldn’t it be considered as abuse?