The New York Times recently ran a provocative post on The Upshot, a section of their online news offerings dedicated to stories that employ data visualization and analysis. The post was entitled, “What 2,000 Calories Looks Like,” and it sought to highlight the high calorie meal offerings of many popular restaurant chains.
In essence, a single meal at some of these restaurants can easily bust the recommended maximum daily caloric intake for adults, a fact that many healthy eating advocates point to when discussing the obesity epidemic in our country.
The article’s photos are a particularly powerful communication tool, especially when you view the photos of a single beverage from one fast food chain compared to the 13 servings of food and drink that add up to 2,000 calories when you prepare meals at home.
Visualization is a powerful tool for understanding the complexities of data in a clear and engaging way, helping to inform our decision processes based on those understandings. “A graphic can often accomplish that goal better than prose,” says David Leonhardt, the editor of The Upshot.
To the same end, we offer up these posters developed by our colleagues in Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California Regional Health Education department. The posters have been developed to educate others about the quantities of foods that add up to 100 calories or the calorie count of popular snack items.
Knowledge is power, as they say. Use these resources in your school cafeterias, nurses offices and hallways to help students, staff and teachers make the best decisions about their eating habits and their health.