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Gertner Institute - Flyers for dietitians and diabetes patients within the Arab community in Israel

The Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit at the Gertner Institute - a national research center for the study of epidemiology and health policy in Israel, (Sheba Medical Center), has developed an adaptable software tool for personalized lifestyle counseling (Interactive Lifestyle Assessment, Counseling and Education [I-ACE]). For the current project, it was customized to support dietitians caring for diabetic patients within the Arab community in Israel. In addition to the software tools, it provides practical educational and self-management materials for patients with varying levels of literacy.

The software enables the dietitian to give the patient personalized guidance on healthy lifestyle behaviors (diet and physical activity), and to follow the patient’s treatment progress, using photos, visual representation, a system of graphic icons representing quantities and sizes of food portions, and printed leaflets.

The software design items included icons representing quantities and sizes of food portions, the creation of a homogenous and consistent "library" of images of food and Arab Cuisine dishes, as well as a system of icons for various food groups.

Two types of flyers were designed for this project:

1. Educational flyers about key food groups andnutrients, including: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, dietary fibers and whole grains; where the written information is supported by images and illustrations, and a color-coded system of icons to represent different food groups.

2. Exchange portion flyers: is This project is designed for diabetic patients, for whom controlling the food portion size and quantity is very important.

Since there are varying levels of literacy in the target population, the flyers display exact portion sizes and quantities not only numerically, but also with visual images of the specific food products,to facilitate understanding. This project’s challenge was the need to come down to the smallest detail of each icon and image, not only to illustrate a food product or portion, but also the exact amount. The icon design demanded the creation of a consistent line of graphics, maintaining simplicity and minimalism, and avoiding complex illustration. The flyer design demanded the creation of clean, simple, colorful, interesting compositions, that can also be understood by illiterate patients.

The result is a homogeneous system of tools that is colorful, clean and, above all, easy to understand.