Designing Health Monday, August 24, 2015

Designing HealthCan design be partly to blame for some of Australia’s health statistics?

Preventative Health Infographic State of Preventative Health 2013. Australian Government.

Yes and no.

No, in that government regulations specify exactly what consumer information needs to be displayed on all faces of the FMCG packaging, including all nutritional and health warnings.

Yes, in that once we have that information it is our role as designers to ensure the consumer knows exactly what they are just about to ingest. But, as with most factors in the world of art and design – the agreed solution is a subjective one.

Preventative Health InfographicState of Preventative Health 2013. Australian Government.

Designers have to tread the fine line between creating eye-catching graphics that engage with the target market and stand out from the competition, whilst creatively conforming to legal regulations, whether on pack or the various ranges of digital platforms available.

And its not just about food, as a design company ishimodo wants to create common sense health communications that builds engagement, empowerment through knowledge and advocacy that will start the tide of change to reduce some of the statistics above, and therefore increasing the your bottom line.

Sage 

Sage, a US based company, is already thinking the same way, they feel that the American nutritional label is deeply flawed. “Product labels have no idea how many calories you the consumer will burn in a day. Are you a 7-foot-tall weightlifter or a 5-foot-tall couch potato? It doesn’t know”.

Product labels have no idea how many calories you the consumer will burn in a day. Are you a 7-foot-tall weightlifter or a 5-foot-tall couch potato? It doesn’t know.

The result is an interactive website exploring 2,000 products you’ll find at the grocery store. Sign up by entering your sex, height, weight, and activity level, and Sage will personalize these nutritional labels for you, not based upon the one-size-fits-all 2,000-calorie-a-day figure from the FDA, but based upon you.

Meanwhile, for today’s consumer it’s harder now than ever to make good food choices, they are bombarded with so much, often inconsistent, inaccurate or incomplete health messages.

Kylie Shugg our qualified nutritionist had this to say;

Momentum is building but too often the health information is too generic, unengaging or too complicated to make sense of. The business opportunity lies in humanising the way health information is communicated, understood, actioned, and ultimately integrated into our lifestyle”.

Enjoy your dinner!