The Obesity Systems Map has been developed by shiftN in the context of the Foresight ‘Tackling Obesities-Future Choices’ Project (2006).
This causal loop map was designed to provide systemic insight into the multiplicity of factors contributing to the obesity epidemic. Behind the simple result of people becoming heavier lies a complex web of often reinforcing causal factors that range from individual psychology and physiology to the culture and economics of food production, food consumption, attitudes toward physical activity, and structure of the built environment.
This foresight project has been very influential on policy development, not only in the UK but also beyond. The systems map has circulated widely both in the health and visualisation communities.
In the transition to our new website a few months ago, the interactive functionality of the map was temporarily lost. It could only be consulted as a static jpg image. We were surprised by the number of people contacting us to restore the interactive layer. It is gratifying to see that nutritionists, researchers, educators and policy makers all over the world are actively making use of the map in their work.
The map is now again available in its interactive incarnation. Moving with the mouse over the map lights up the variable clusters. Double clicking allows to zoom in and out.