Design and Obesity: The Effects of Tableware on Eating Behaviors

By Rachel Wilson and Sharon Joines.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The United States is facing an obesity epidemic. This is a multi-faceted problem to which there is not just one answer. What is Design’s role in ending the obesity crisis? Designers work with the environments and tools people use every day. These environments and tools affect our eating behaviors. This project addresses the effects of environment upon eating habits. Using existing research and research conducted specifically for this project, this paper proposes design guidelines for creating tableware to help reduce consumption. Also documented are an appropriate product identity and presents one product solution to address the obesity problem — a specialized set of tableware.

Keywords: Obesity, Plate Design, Eating Habits, Tableware, Guidelines

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp.97-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.326MB).

Rachel Wilson

Graduate Student, Research Assistant, Research in Ergonomics and Design Lab, Department of Industrial Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

Rachel Wilson is a recent graduate of North Carolina State University's Master of Industrial Design program. During her graduate work her interests in art and design merged with human factors and human centered design.

Dr. Sharon Joines

Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Design, Research in Ergonomics and Design Lab, Center for Universal Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

Sharon Joines is a researcher and ergonomist, teaching courses in human centered design and ergonomics. Her interests reside in universal design, applied product and process research, and the effect of aging on fatigue development and work. Her research focuses on quantifying the interaction between individuals, products, and their environment. Sharon works with engineers and designers in all phases of the design cycle. The challenges they have addressed traversed consumer markets, warehousing and distribution, medical applications, and manufacturing environments ranging from forging to clean rooms. Before joining the faculty in Industrial Design and the Center for Universal Design, Sharon was the director of research and education at the Ergonomics Center of North Carolina. She was a John T. Caldwell Scholar, Merit Scholar, University Scholar, and NC Fellow. She is a member of the Order of Thirty and Three, Alpha Pi Mu, and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

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