Community Informatics

Studies show that childhood obesity is growing by 25% every decade. We partnered with Ruth Lilly Health Education Center to understand why.

As part of this study, we collected and charted the body mass index (BMI) of each child surveyed, and then compared that data and the children’s levels of awareness on the subject to the social, environmental, and economic conditions of the communities in which they live. This data was then linked to SAVI.

These links helped us to identify relationships between what students know about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles compared to related factors in their neighborhoods and the students’ grade levels and ages. SAVI’s mapping feature displays these factors simultaneously to discover relationships between these variables in a given area and whether or not these patterns are repeated elsewhere.

Upon completion of this project, we customized SAVI’s tools to meet the needs of Ruth Lilly’s intervention efforts. Ultimately, we intend to create a sustainable system for the health education center and to develop the template that allows the system to be expanded to areas outside Indianapolis.