20 February 2014
The effectiveness of the CDC?
The CDC or Center for Disease Control is the government agency in charge of the nation’s public health. The CDC’s web page on obesity’s purpose to relay information about the rise of obesity in the United States. They want to convey the issues that accompany obesity are not only deadly but costly as well. They attempt to make this argument by using visuals and statistical percentages. The website is intended for the everyday person along with medical professionals so they can utilize these facts and statistics to help them in their profession.
Essentially the CDC has credibility because they are a government agency. Even more credibility is apparent because they have access to a lot of information that the regular person would not be able to obtain. Many of the guidelines doctors and medical professionals would use in their profession come from here. Have you ever walked into a medical establishment and seen information from the CDC? Making sure they put the USA.gov image (see fig.1) on the page was so you know the information here is reliable and credible.
However, when it comes to the logos aspect of the pages the information is not effective. The downfall is all the statistics and all the information in the text is information that the CDC has acquired through their own research. Even though it’s a government agency you still would expect them to be able to present information from somewhere else that agrees or conflicts with the information that their posting on the site. The web page about Adult obesity was dated. The last time it was updated was August 2013 so it might not be showing the most current information and the current state of the nation’s health. The same issue was evident in the visual statistics as well. The most up to date visuals that illustrate any statistical analysis of obesity rates in adults is from 2010 (see figure 2). This information could not be used for current information relating to obesity rates as they are today.
(Fig.2. Percent of Obese Adults in United States from CDC’s page on Adult Obesity)
In contrast, the page on basic childhood obesity had some good points that the adult page did not include. They included references and citations form other professionals on the page rather than just data and statistics from themselves. They make sure that they outline the risks that go along with childhood obesity and how it affects their health. The text has the percentages of how likely children are to developing disorders like high cholesterol in relation to obesity and that the trend could continue into adulthood. However, once again they had the same drawback as the previous sections on the site and by showing dated information. When it comes to the quality, of the information, this website illustrates both textually and visually, I find the pages have more issues than good points.
On the other hand, The CDC made very good use of pathos. Emotion can be a very strong strategy to use especially when it has to do with your life. The CDC made sure they used this when saying that obesity can cause many diseases; including certain types of cancer and that, these issues are the biggest cases of death that can be prevented. They do this by to shock people and strike a chord with them so they really see how devastating obesity and your diet can be on your health. Whenever our mortality is, concerned people tend to take notice. The CDC wants people to realize that these complications can be avoided by making lifestyle changes. They also use this tactic when it comes to using visuals. The visual map statistic that includes the dropping in obesity rates with low income children are in blue cool colors (figure 3). In contrast, the final adult map statistics are in shades of red and warm colors (figure 2). They utilize strategy because the red warm colors jump out at you. Red colors are usually associated with alarms and caution. The CDC wants these colors to set off a mental alarm when you see them.
(Figure 3 2011 State Prevalence among Low-Income Children Aged 2 to 4 Years from CDC’s Page on childhood obesity)
Using emotion was a skill they illustrated in childhood obesity as well. By making sure, they show the health, risks will have consequences now and later in life. Parents will take notice of this and realize the food that they feed and have available to their children will have an effect on the quality of life they will have as adults. As a parent, you want your child to have as healthy and long of a life as possible so you would not do anything to stop that. Therefore, they utilize these intimidating statistics to state children are at risk as well. When they show these pictures on the childhood obesity page, they use images of children at a park and engaging in active behaviors, (figure 4, 5) they do this so you sit and reflect and question yourself. Does my child look like this? Is my child active enough? Are these the foods I have available to my child? They touch on guilt because if you answered no to any of those questions then you and your family might be a part of the rising trend in obesity and health disorders.
(Figure 5 child at the park)
Therefore, when it comes to this website as a whole it demonstrate some good aspects and some areas for improvement. They utilize a few statistical images but the text is the main focus of their argument. The data might have been somewhat out of date but the text and visuals complemented each other very effectively. The pictures amplify the understanding of the text. While reading statistics and data is helpful. Seeing color coded images accompanying the data illustrates another aspect of he argument. Doing this really helps your audience understand how critical this information is Their strongest skill was making use of emotion. They make you take a serious look at your lifestyle and the consequences of not altering them. The layout would be more effective if all the information for adults and children where In two separate areas (see figure 7). Just to get all the facts concerning adult and childhood obesity you must travel to numerous pages .
In all they have some good aspects but ultimately their approach isn't effective . In order for people to absorb your information and deduce that you are a reliable source the information needs to be current.
Centers for Disease Control. Government Website Badge. Digital image. Centers for Disease Control Adult Obesity. Centers For Disease Control, Web. 18 Feb. 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html>.
---. “Percent of Obese Adults in United States.”
---. “State Prevalence among Low-Income Children Aged 2 to 4.”
---. “Sport playing child.”
---. ”Child at the Park.”