NEUROGASTRONOMY

NEUROGASTRONOMY

Tools for the therapeutic recovery of Orthorexia nervosa

Social media, technology and new sophisticated books devoted to food are increasingly spreading anxiety about healthy food consumption, safety and production. This new society is overthinking the properties of every ingredient, when the main focus should be on the way we eat, and on our approach to food.

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Neurogastronomy is a set of tools that raise awareness of an eating disorder called Orthorexia nervosa. The condition is a paradoxical eating disorder accelerated by social media, where people restrict their diet based not on the quantity of food they consume, but on quality. It is intended for health reasons but leads to malnutrition and impairment of daily functioning.

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The design is targeted at Psychotherapists treating Orthorexia sufferers. It supports  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy of this psychological condition by using high sensorial outputs and neurological procedures:

The tools are designed to support users in controlling feelings of anxiety along with the assistance of a psychotherapist. By instilling subtle changes in objects, they challenge the users thoughts by  allowing them to mirror their feelings and letting them to re-sensitise the body to certain habits.

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The language of each object has been carefully designed to be consistent with the universal nature of tableware. The pieces are subtlety modified with the intention of avoiding alarm or un-familiar feelings.

The design components are:

– A cutlery set that intensifies flavors through retronasal olfaction.

– A dish that provides the user with control of the way they want to see their food, it stimulates the ventromedial cortex and opens up conversation between the psychotherapist and the patient facilitating the therapy process.

– Drinking pots. They activate Orthonasal smell, evolved to assign a short-term value to a food.

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Acknowledgements:

Stella Stathi

Steven Bratman