Makeover Monday week 41, 2017: Adult Obesity in the United States

Posted by

For week 41 and our Makeover Monday live event at TC17, Andy chose a dataset about Adult Obesity in the US.

We have had a number of food and health related datasets and I really like those because those topics are so relevant these days.

So let’s have a look at the original viz which comes from


What works well:

  • the interactivity on the website is really good, the tooltips are well formatted and that makes it fun to explore the viz and see what is going on in different states and over time
  • consistent use of colour across the viz and tooltips
  • great idea to use the timeline which is very intuitive and easy to navigate
  • using a map works well for me in this example because obesity rates by state are the focus and a US audience will likely interact with the map
  • I also like the inclusion of the obesity percentage as well as the state rank, which puts the percentage figure into perspective


What could be improved:

  • I’m not a huge fan of the colour scheme. Red with orange and purple just irritates my eyes. Yes, obesity is a huge problem (excuse the pun), but those colours to me are more irritating than alarming
  • so what? I am missing a call to action or at least some insights. The paragraph above the viz describes the data but doesn’t tell me anything more. It turns the numbers from the viz into text but I’d love to see a bit more depth in there, especially given the websites tagline ‘Better Policies for a Healthier America’


What I did:

  • a slope chart to highlight the difference between 2011 and 2015
  • focusing on a single region in the US to reduce the complexity
  • including a national average for reference
  • customised tooltips
  • highlight actions across both charts
  • a focus on how States rate compared to the national average





  1. HI Eva
    Very new to Tableau so excuse the basic question but how would i find detail of how you created your above ‘The South is in Trouble’ bar chart?


Leave a Reply to Desmond Farrelly Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s