Art students have come up with a hard-hitting way to tackle a subject society finds increasingly hard to swallow.
More than 40 Darlington College students, on a variety of courses, including graphic design, fine art, art and design and photography, have designed posters for display and social media to promote healthy weight.
Darlington Council’s Public Health department commissioned the work after drawing up a healthy weight action plan for the borough.
Public Health specialist Rachel Osbaldeston briefed the students on the promotional campaign which will be used across the internet and the borough.
She told them that obesity doubled the risk of dying prematurely with 10 per cent of early deaths a year being traced to excess weight.
Students heard that the Government spent more on treating the effects of unhealthy weight than on primary education and in Darlington more reception children than the national average were considered obese, while by year 6 the figures were 34 per cent.
Obesity was also linked to cancer, heart disease, stroke, depression and diabetes while being underweight often led to ill-health as well. Hospitals were having to cope with four times more admissions than 10 years ago.
Students produced an array of images in a variety of media, the best 10 being selected for reproduction in the Public Health campaign
Rachel said: “All the students did a fantastic job producing some high quality work to a tight deadline. Judging was really difficult because the design work was so good.
“They really understood the need for healthy living and their work can’t fail to reach the wide and diverse audience that exits in Darlington.”
Darlington College tutor Pippa Eeles added: “Our students really grasped the concept well and the images captured the essence of what needs to be achieved. Live briefs like this offer the best possible insight into the world of work and really help our students develop.”
Student James Peacock, 18, of Leyburn, chose a Star Wars theme for his design featuring Yoda as an apple, Luke Skywalker as broccoli, Princess Leia as a lemon, R2D2 as an orange and Hans Solo as a coconut.
He said: “Stars Wars is current but stretches back several generations and is, therefore, something the community as a whole can relate to. I do make sure I watch what I eat and exercise. I’m delighted to be chosen in the top 10.”
Masie Humphries, 17, of Richmond, added: “It was tricky coming up with an image that reflected both diet and exercise. I really enjoyed thinking how to appeal to different age groups with the same imagery.”