Female Obesity

Solanda Lee

I examined the prevalence of obesity globally of females. The data sets I used were from WHO Global Infobase where I gathered information of females who were 15-100 years old and with a BMI of 30 or greater. I used sites such as ManyEyes and Excel to create graphs that portray the data set.


Visualization 1:

The bar graph compares the average prevalence of obesity in women in each of the six regions from 2002 and 2010. This graph is able to visually display a striking difference in height between the years with different colors, allowing the onlooker to quickly observe that prevalence of obesity has increased between 2002 and 2010 in every region, with the Americas and West Pacific with the greatest prevalence of obesity and Southeast Asia with the lowest. While giving the overall trend of the increase in obesity, it also allows the viewer to look at each region individually such as examining that the Americas have the greatest increase from 2002 to 2010.

The meaning of the information is portrayed simplistically by region and can be understood by a wide audience including people who may not have an in depth study of obesity to observe that obesity rates are increasing everywhere. However, this graph is interactive and also provides more complicated information such as specific averages for each year, which could be used by people who may be studying this issue. One thing where the graph may not be as effective is that the colors are not as bright or contrasting, and instead are more calming, which may cause it to lose its effectiveness to capture the audience’s attention.

Visualization 2:

The bubble graph also shows the prevalence of obesity in women, but it focuses on the year of 2010. Each circle shows a region, with the size of the circles depending on the number of countries in each region. It is easy to see that the Americas and Europe have many countries within their region since their bubbles are larger. Within the bubbles, a pie graph of all the countries within the region are labeled by color.

The meaning of the information changes in this graph because although it contains the same data set, it also shows the obesity prevalence of each specific country so that the information is compared to each country instead of region. Also, instead of the size of the bubbles representing the average prevalence of obesity, it shows the total amount of countries within the region. The graph is interactive and allows the viewer to click on each circle to view the statistics of each country. Since the graph is more complicated with specific information and statistics, it may be more suitable for people who are doing research on obesity and have a more in-depth understanding of the issue instead of a common person in society who may not have the knowledge to fully understand the graph. Although this graph is very useful, it may be too overwhelming with all the information that could potentially make it confusing and less effective. The different colors also make it harder to focus and could be distracting.

Visualization 3:

This line graph shows the trend of obesity prevalence throughout the years by each region. It uses bright colors to capture the attention of the audience, and to effectively label each of the regions. The graph is able to show how obesity has been increasing in every region.

The meaning of the graph changes because this graph not only shows the trend of each region, but also shows how each region compares to one another. For example we see that in the West Pacific and Africa, obesity has been trending upward in its prevalence, but we are also able to see that West Pacific has a much higher prevalence than Africa based on the placement of height on the graph. This graph is simple to read but is also informative in showing the increasing prevalence of obesity in every region. This graph needs slight interpretation to compare the trend over the years but it can be used for common people in society to understand the issue. The audience can be anyone and the graph could be used in classrooms, clinics, and health magazines to easily portray the message.

Visualization 4:

This pie graph, similar to the line graph and the bar graph, only compares the obesity prevalence among the different regions. It is colorful and clearly shows the effective use of color to label each region and also has the statistical percentages of the prevalence of obesity of each region. It clearly shows that Americas and West Pacific have 25% prevalence of obesity whereas Africa and Southeast Asia have smaller slices showing that their prevalence of obesity is lower.

However, on this graph, the meaning of the information focuses only on the year of 2010. It shows the statistical average percent of obesity in each region, and is also able to give a visual understanding of how each piece occupies spaces and relates to each other. This graph seems to be the most basic of the four since the obesity prevalence of each region is focused only on a single year. This graph is simple yet informative, and portrays information in an unbiased way for common people to easily understand. It can be used in classrooms, clinics, health magazines etc. However, because of its simplicity, the audience is unable to draw any other information about the issue such as how the regions have been trending previous of 2010.


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