November 26, 2014 – Simple Signage


Anchor lead:  Can calorie information be conveyed by a standardized stick figure? Elizabeth Tracey reports

When given easily understandable information on calories and their impact, adolescents chose fewer sugary beverages, a Johns Hopkins study led by Sara Bleich has found.  Bleich says she would translate these findings into a standardized, disseminated icon so everyone can be informed when making food choices.

Bleich: I would make sure that anyplace that has calorie information posted had a easily understandable translation was posted alongside. You would have a stick figure which was walking and underneath of it it says five miles.  And everywhere you went it would be the exact same metric and so you could easily make sense of it. The second thing I would do is I would actually push restaurants to make changes to bring down their calories, and that has a much larger potential to have a population impact, because then you’re not relying on individuals to make decisions, you’re just sort of changing their environment, which we know if more effective.   :29

Bleich is in favor of a multipronged approach to stem the tide of obesity worldwide, and believes a standardized icon would help.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.