Feminist Nutrition Interventions in Cardiac Rehabilitation
Final Masters Project
Competency Areas Built
Creativity + Aesthetics
Business + Entrepreneurship
User + Society
Design + Research Processes
Math, Data + Computing
Gender disparity permeates all moments of the cardiac care pathway, including life saving cardiac rehabilitation. To question this status quo, I used the feminist design practice of troubling design to explore how a feminist nutrition intervention could look like for women in cardiac rehabilitation. I begin by assessing my own prior work with food tracking technologies through the lens of feminist values. This critical reflection is supplemented by women sharing their lived experiences with nutrition and cardiac rehabilitation, as well as interviews with a cardiac nurse and cardiologist, a Health at Every Size coach, a fat activist and a fat, queer, body positivity coach.
To re-think how technology can acknowledge women’s lived experience and support women in their relationship with nutrition during cardiac rehabilitation, I have designed a platform introducing intuitive eating. Through ten modules, women are supported in re-meeting their bodies, divesting from diet culture and discovering life beyond constant yo-yo dieting. A chatbot function supports women while they learn to tune back into hunger and fullness cues, using the hunger scale to foster trust in the intuitive knowing of the body.
Through this design exploration, we can enhance our understanding of the interplay between the healthcare environment, technological health interventions, and value based health outcomes for women. Ultimately, I want to spark critical conversation about the ethics and impact that nutrition tracking interventions have on the women we design them for, and how technologies can instead become champions of feminist liberation.