jessica charlesworth

TACKLING OBESITIES: The future of obesity over the next 50 years

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Original Obesity Systems Modelling map by shiftn.

In collaboration with Michael Burton, I worked at FORESIGHT, a Government think tank based in the Government Office for Science, to envision the impact of the predicted obesity epidemic over the next 50 years.

Our work considered the evolution of the body in response to an overtly obesogenic environment and some proposals for tackling the problem. The project aims to be a point of provocation informed by Foresight’s extensive consultation with leading world scientists, experts and other leading stakeholders in order to stimulate debate in Government as well as the general public.

We generated a range of visual scenarios extrapolating the various drivers deemed to be contributing to the development of the Obesity epidemic. Each scenario was based on a paper written by various experts in education, nutrition, the built environment and each one discussed their theories on the causes and potential impacts of obesity in the next 50 years.

Scenarios included:



The Tackling Obesities project report was published in October 2007 and nominated for Science and Technology Civil Service Awards in 2008. “An award that recognises best practice in the innovative use of science and technology as part of the policymaking or business planning process.”

Shiftn were responsible for creating the Obesity Systems Influence Map illustrated above and our starting point of the design process, complexity was staring at us in the face.

Related news links: bbc news, google news sites

One Response

  1. […] what-if scenarios, thought experiments and retrofuture narratives. Examples projects included Tackling Obesities for Foresight UK thinktank, the Citizen Evolution exhibition at the MAKVienna and ending with a […]

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