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
2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments
A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the …
1 July 2015
[Book] Drawing Energy
Drawing Energy: Exploring perceptions of the invisible Authors: Flora Bowden, Dan Lockton, Rama Gheerawo and Clare Brass. Editor: Rama Gheerawo. Royal College of Art, London, 2015 Free download - Free printed copy Abstract Drawing Energy describes a drawing-based research project …
27 June 2015
Designing for behavior as the critical path for patient engagement
Forget about features, design behaviors. Tying strategic behavior design to engagement outcomes will lead to more pratical and digitally relevant solutions, writes behavioral scientist Steph Habif in a conversation piece on the website of Prescribe …
22 June 2015
[Book] Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler W. W. Norton & Company May 2015, 432 pages Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans—predictable, …
19 June 2015
The opportunities for wearables in the healthcare space
Daniel Gomez Seidel and Masuma Henry of Artefact have posted a nice write-up on recent developments and opportunities for wearables in the healthcare space. The post contains various interesting cases and points at some of …
19 June 2015
Nesta report and case studies on people-centred smart cities
For smart cities to reach their full potential, they need to focus on the citizens living in them, not just technology, write researchers Tom Saunders and Peter Baeck of Nesta, the UK innovation charity Traditionally, smart …
13 June 2015
Examining the proliferation of magical narratives in technology
There has been a lot of talk about magic lately in critical, cultural and technological spaces; what it does, who it is for, and who are the ones to control or enact it. As a …
6 June 2015
Europe’s White Working Class Communities: A Report on Six EU Cities
Europe’s White Working Class Communities, a research series published by the Open Society Foundations, documents the experiences of “white” communities in six cities across Europe. Each report focuses on a specific district or neighborhood within a …

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.

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

See all articles