A visualization on British eating habits created in Processing as coursework for my Data Visualization module at City University London. The work is a prototype—the final piece would allow users to focus on data they're interested in by filtering out foods they don't want to see on the chart.

The piece was created using a dataset from the Guardian's Datablog to answer the question “What changes in eating habits are contributing to the rise in obesity in the UK?” In the Guardian’s introduction to the dataset, which shows household purchasing of food per person from 1974, Simon Rogers points out that the figures show a decrease in cheese, whole milk and red meat, and an increase in wholemeal bread and fruit. These are healthier eating choices, yet obesity figures are still rising. I wanted to explore the dataset in detail to see what other food choices might be contributing—are we eating more of any other foods that might be counteracting the health benefits of less dairy and meat and more wholegrain and fruit?

The visualization shows some food increases that could be counteracting these healthy choices. For example, 355 grams of pure fruit juice—an item high in sugar—was consumed in 2007 per person per week; people in 1974 consumed 90% less of this. Sweetened breakfast cereals and cereal convenience food, both also high in sugar, are up in 2007 compared with 1974: sweetened cereals up 50% to 29 grams, and other cereal convenience foods up 73% to 71 grams.

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