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National Reference Value

Following on from the ‘day in the life’ animation, I started to look at what I was eating as a form of data and how close to the ‘national reference value’ of each nutritional element I was. Having never counted a calorie, a gram of protein or a gram of fibre, this was all completely new.

I wrote everything I ate for 3 days down and worked out exactly how much I was consuming of the following:

Calories, Protein, Carbohydrates, Sugar, Fat & Fibre.

I then imported the final graphs that represented how close i was to the NRV into adobe animate and lined up the NRV so that my data was almost doing a dance around it, getting closer or further away from the suggested amount.

The thing to note here is that you sort of lose the ‘health’ side of it when its being animated like this. When it was data in word, it was a series of numbers and fluctuations of nutrition, some stats being worse than others. Of course, it’s better to be eating less sugar and more fibre for example, so I could see on the graph where i was doing ‘well’ and where I wasn’t. but when it’s displayed as a dance where the NRV is always in the same position, you lose the sense of whether its a good thing or a bad thing that its higher / lower the NRV.

Contrasting this with diabetes and blood sugar levels, if the levels are too high or low, something must be done about it. And of course these always fluctuate depending on what you eat / what activity you’re doing, and getting it close to the line is, I suppose, a good thing as you know you’re on target but as long as you keep track of the levels, it’s all fine.

The last animation (far right) doesn’t really work as a set of data because its not being displayed in a functional way. It goes back and forth between different sets of data and it doesn’t show the data moving along a chronological 3-day time frame. It goes from day 1 to day 3 in one nutritional value then day 3 to day 1 in another and so on. It does however, leave you with a pattern that shows you how far from the NRV you are, the closer you are to it, the more on track you are.

What I like most about this animation is the fact that you can see this data moving. Graphs don’t really work in the same way, they are informative but they are static. Because this looks like a dance, I now have the urge to choreograph it, what will it look like over 6 days or 3 weeks? It’s taken on a life of its own and each line represents an inner-body fluctuation that has taken on a life of its own, but a life that I can now control.

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