Point of Decision Design to Address Adolescent Overweight and Obesity

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Objectives: This study aims to utilize the point of decision design framework to understand how, where, and why adolescents and families make decisions about diet and physical activity and to explore how modifications to the environment can help to promote healthier choices and reduce obesity. Background: Child and adolescent obesity is a critical public health problem. As environmental factors are a primary contributor, understanding the role of design in our surrounding environment highlights an important area of interdisciplinary study. Design strategies have been used successfully to increase stair use and reduce sedentary behavior and can be used to further promote healthier diet and activity choices among adolescents and families. Methods: We leveraged the human-centered design-thinking process through (1) qualitative interviews and survey instruments, (2) persona and prompt development, and (3) a design workshop with multidisciplinary stakeholders. Results: Five personas were developed from the qualitative data and used in a design-thinking workshop. During the workshop, participants generated 12 influential factors and nine points of decision which were used to generate 33 solutions spanning the design continuum (from information and policy design to the design of urban, architectural, and interior environments) aimed at improving nutrition and physical activity among adolescents. Additionally, a tool kit was prototyped, which includes interview guides, a persona framework, and a workshop facilitation guide. Conclusions: Our novel process led to the generation of design solutions that can be implemented to expand and improve upon existing interventions for childhood obesity and create environments that encourage positive health outcomes.




Erfani, K., Grabowski, A., Parker, G., Garrity, A., Peterson, K. E., Lee, J. M., & Nanda, U. (2023). Point of Decision Design to Address Adolescent Overweight and Obesity. Health Environments Research and Design Journal, 16(3), 182–194. https://doi.org/10.1177/19375867231153365

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