Define your scope or domain where the use case is relevant or prevalent?
Many people in the United States are affected by chronic preventable diseases (like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease) that can be avoided, managed, and mitigated by self-management, including maintaining healthy eating and exercise habits. The scope of our app is to make these 2 self-management activities easier. Our app will essentially allow users to easily search and filter for healthy recipes and exercise videos. Additionally, the app will have the following components: a user login, summary/visualization of nutritional analysis of recipe, and (tentative) summary/visualization of video comment sentiment analysis.
Many different demographics can be affected by these kinds of chronic diseases. Our user story and the target demographic of our app is busy young adults, particularly students and professionals, who are newly on their own and away from home. Consequently, they have to manage their own food and exercise on top of their hectic work or classes. Some of these individuals are in the at-risk category due to a family history of chronic disease, and all of them may increase their risk by developing poor eating and exercise habits during a hectic and potentially hectic period in their life. Using our app, our target community will easily look up healthy recipes and exercise videos to put into a schedule they can follow.
What is your main story?
The main story is about how people who are at-risk for or currently have common, preventable, chronic diseases (like those listed above) and who want to manage their nutrition, physical activity and medical-related tasks in order to prevent the disease or mitigate its effects in order to live a longer, healthier life.
Who are the characters or people in the main story?
I am a 19 year old first-year, full-time male college student. I have a history of CVD, in particular stroke, and diabetes in my family, and one of my parents has diabetes. Strokes are also common on the male side of the family. The meals prepared by my parents at home were relatively healthy, but the meals options on campus are unhealthy. The things I know how to prepare are baked goods, high in sugars and carbs, to satisfy my sweet tooth. I also eat more sweets now that I am more stressed out by my coursework and deadlines. I have a job as a part-time TA, and I use part of that income to pay for groceries to supplement the meals provided in the meal plan. However, I often end up buying pre-prepared foods because I am frustrated by cooking when recipes for savory or sweet food require adjustments to make them more healthy. I am worried that I will develop bad eating habits over the next 4 years. Also, I am already very sedentary and skip doing exercise so that I have more time to study/work/meet deadlines. My lack of managing my eating and exercise combined will increase my risk for these chronic diseases down the line.
I need a way to plan, schedule, and manage my nutrition and exercise so that I do not increase my risk of getting CVD/stroke/diabetes by developing unhealthy eating and exercise habits while I am away from home, which I will be for long periods of time.
I am on campus for most of the year, except for the summer, during which I will also be away from home. The location boils down to a place that is away from my home, where I already have access to healthy meals. I also have more free time to exercise and do other activities because my time is not taken up by food preparation or acquisition. On campus, there are many options for exercise at the gyms and group fitness classes that are already paid for in the tuition. However, additional meals provided by the campus cost too much money, the food is already unhealthy, and on-campus food shopping options have inflated prices. Also, prepared food from other locations like restaurants nearby are too unhealthy and full of added sugars or fats to make it taste better. So, for food shopping, I would need to go to local grocery stores and buy cheap but healthy foods using my TA income. The campus does not directly address chronic disease like the ones I worry about but emphasizes that the student health services are available for all kinds of things. Finally, the campus also provides separate activities for cooking classes and events on nutrition throughout the year
I am on campus for most of the year, except for the summer, during which I may also be away from home for internships or summer courses at the same college. My cooking and exercise need to be structured around my classes, my TA job, and the time I take to study. My coursework is my first priority and will take up a lot of time because I want to do well in my first year. I have to make a proper diet and fitness plan and make some schedule for my cooking and exercise along with my coursework. This will lead to my being more healthy, and I can focus more on my studies.
Our environments and busy lives are big factors that limit us from consistently making healthy choices. Most full-time students and workers are so busy in their everyday routines that they cannot spend enough time on cooking or exercising. These days, more and more people are starting to focus on good food to be healthy, and the price of healthy food is decreasing. If people can buy pre-cooked, healthy food at a store or restaurant, that is ok. However, it is even better to cook it at home since it is much cheaper and healthier than the pre-cooked foods at the store, which can have added sugar or fats to make it taste better even if it is labelled as healthy. The products also commonly contain chemical ingredients to prevent the food from spoiling. These preservatives are not unequivocally bad for our bodies, but intaking them at high levels may cause health problems. That’s why cooking healthy food by ourselves is the safest and most healthy choice.
Problem statement and possible solution
Our environments and busy lives reduce the time we can spend on making healthy choices, which could cost us the chance of healthier, longer lives, especially in the US where these preventable, chronic diseases are prevalent. We want to create an app that helps users with self-management (monitoring, tracking, and scheduling) of nutritional, exercise and medical-related activities and provides useful information/functions such as healthy food substitutions in recipes, nutritional breakdown/analysis of meals, and meal or exercise plans.