Put stats in context

Stats don’t speak for themselves. We can help people make sense of facts and figures by putting them in context; with values, metaphor and systems stories.

Without this context, data is often interpreted in predictable ways – and to confirm people’s existing beliefs.

Use data only to support – or bridge to – your existing content

Like this:

“Improving children’s health matters to all of us. Right now, an average of six ten years olds in a classroom of 30 has obesity. Families are up against a flood of unhealthy food options. We all need to ensure that all our neighbourhoods provide affordable, healthy food options and places where children can run and play.”


Place numbers in a social context that provides meaning – like a classroom, or playground. This brings them to life and keeps our focus on the environment. Where possible, use figures to highlight barriers (or opportunities) within our environment – like the number of public park closures or changing portion sizes.

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