6 March 2006

Half of American children obese by 2010, 38% of European ones [AP]

Be the first to share

Overweight_children
Associated Press reports that according to a study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, rates of childhood obesity are expected to skyrocket in the coming years, with half of the children in North and South America obese by 2010 (via FutureWire).

Europe doesn’t fare much better, with 38% of kids there expected to be overweight within five years. Even China will see its population of obese children increase to 20% in that period.

“The Western world’s food industries without even realising it have precipitated an epidemic with enormous health consequences,” said Dr. Philip James, chairman of the International Obesity Task Force.

As in the US, the combination of junk food, poor overall eating habits and less exercise is to blame for the problem worldwide. The trend has crucial implications on the future health of the young generation — most notably, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. “This is going to be the first generation that’s going to have a lower life expectancy than their parents,” said UK surgeon Dr. Phillip Thomas. “It’s like the plague is in town and no one is interested.”

To fight the epidemic, radical steps need to be taken, says Dr. James. He believes that all marketing aimed at children — especially for food — should be banned.

What can designers do to change this trend?

Today I was reading Open Health, the UK Design Council report on creating new healthcare systems, which starts out with a poignant analysis of the current state of institutionalised health care:

“Healthcare was shaped by the 19th century problems of contagious and acute disease, and institutionalised in the organisational model of the mass production era. Those structures now have to cope with a new epidemic of chronic disease. Without significant changes, health spending in real terms would have to double within 15 years to keep pace with demand, with health spending rising from 7.7% to 11per cent of GDP within a decade.”

The Design Council report claims to show how designing from the individual’s point of view could provide the key to solutions to this problem.

Another topic much addressed in this blog is children. Experts are now arguing that legislation is the only solution to address childhood obesity and that it is not going to be enough any more just to say to the consumer they have to change their behaviour. This will of course have major implications on food, media and toy industries. But what can companies do? What can designers do?

Be the first to share
14 August 2016
The psychology of scarcity: what behavioral economics can teach design
Eldar Shafir, professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University and coauthor, with Sendhil Mullainathan, of the book Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives (Picador, 2013), talks …
31 July 2016
[Book] The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age
The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age Sonia Livingstone and Julian Sefton-Green New York University Press May 2016, 368 pages > Read online for free Do today’s youth have more opportunities than their parents? As they build their …
31 July 2016
Can ‘user experience’ experts become ‘customer experience’ experts?
For those of us who are puzzled about what exactly the difference is between UX and CX, Toby Bottorf, principal at continuum, situates the difference as one of scale: "The difference is one of scale. You’re …
23 July 2016
Emerging social roles for life in 2025
Over the last five years Ericsson's Networked Society Lab has been exploring what social life in 2025 might mean. How have 20th structures of industrialization been challenged? What is happening with life and lifestyles right …
22 July 2016
[Book] Overcomplicated (or when systems go feral)
Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman Current (Penguin Randomhouse), July 2016 256 pages Abstract Why did the New York Stock Exchange suspend trading without warning on July 8, 2015? Why did certain Toyota vehicles accelerate uncontrollably …
22 July 2016
A nudge toward participation: Improving clinical trial enrollment with behavioral economics
A nudge toward participation: Improving clinical trial enrollment with behavioral economics Eric M. VanEpps, Kevin G. Volpp and Scott D. Halpern (University of Pennsylvania) Science Translational Medicine - 20 Jul 2016 Vol. 8, Issue 348, pp. 348fs13 Interventions informed …
18 July 2016
Ethnographic research to improve the City of New York’s digital services
A team including the Public Policy Lab (a New York City non-profit) worked with New York City's Chief Digital Officer and her staff to use ethnographic research to develop the New York City Digital Playbook …
11 July 2016
[Book] LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation
LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation Edited by Mariana Amatullo, with Bryan Boyer, Liz Danzico and Andrew Shea Published by Designmatters at ArtCenter College of Design July 2016, 360 pages The professional landscape for design in …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

22 June 2016
A united energy economy: Experientia helps wrap up the CITYOPT Nice pilot project

Can behavioral change address local energy issues, raise people’s awareness energy consumption issues, and directly support non-profit organizations at the same time? With the Nice pilot of the CITYOPT project, we have seen strong suggestions that it can. It also suggests that the sense of belonging to a local community is a strong motivation for […]

23 May 2016
Experientia white paper: “Conducting clinical trials is about working with patients”

Patient-centricity is one of the defining issues facing clinical trials in the pharma industry. The past few years have seen a growing awareness by pharmaceutical companies of the importance of patient-centricity – but they have also illustrated that not everyone is clear on just what patient-centricity is, or how to achieve it. After using UX […]

12 April 2016
The latest on innovation in Energy Efficient Buildings: annual round-up of EU Commission projects

Every year, the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) Public Private Partnership (PPP) publishes the EeB PPP project review – a round-up of energy-efficiency projects that have been co-funded by two European Commission schemes. This year, the print and digital booklet design was done by Experientia, in particular by our talented visual and interaction designer Dohun Jang. Experientia […]

8 March 2016
Behavioral modeling – Shaping cultural change and behavioral evolution

One of the things we do here at Experientia that really sets us apart from other UX agencies is behavioral modeling. Our cognitive and behavioral models go beyond the standard customer journeys and personas (both useful tools, and often preliminary steps to behavioral modeling) to create frameworks that can be used to make people more […]

1 March 2016
Singapore’s main newspaper on Experientia’s design with the elderly

Arti Mulchand reports in the Straits Times, Singapore’s main newspaper, on Experientia’s “Design for Ageing Gracefully” project: Putting faces to end-users early in the design process is changing the way designers and organisations are approaching products aimed at Singapore’s growing elderly demographic. Experientia’s ethnographic study, which was commissioned by DesignSingapore Council in a collaboration with […]

18 January 2016
Experientia website completely reshaped

Experientia is pleased to announce that we’ve started 2016 with a brand new website. Experientia’s now officially 10 years old, and we decided that the best way to celebrate is by building a new website that showcases our growth – with new projects, new people in the staff, and two new locations in Lausanne and […]

See all articles