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Publication numberUS20100055271 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/549,225
Publication dateMar 4, 2010
Filing dateAug 27, 2009
Priority dateAug 29, 2008
Also published asCA2735585A1, CN102187333A, EP2335211A2, EP2335211A4, EP2338115A2, EP2338115A4, US8382482, US20100055652, US20100055653, US20100062119, US20100062402, US20100080875, US20130230829, US20140207618, WO2010025290A2, WO2010025290A3, WO2010025292A1, WO2010025332A1, WO2010025358A1, WO2010025394A1, WO2010025422A2, WO2010025422A3, WO2010025422A8
Publication number12549225, 549225, US 2010/0055271 A1, US 2010/055271 A1, US 20100055271 A1, US 20100055271A1, US 2010055271 A1, US 2010055271A1, US-A1-20100055271, US-A1-2010055271, US2010/0055271A1, US2010/055271A1, US20100055271 A1, US20100055271A1, US2010055271 A1, US2010055271A1
InventorsKaren Miller-Kovach, Ute Gerwig, Julia Peetz, Christine Jacobsohn, Wanema Frye, Stephanie Lyn Rost, Maria Kinirons, Dawn Halkuff
Original AssigneeKaren Miller-Kovach, Ute Gerwig, Julia Peetz, Christine Jacobsohn, Wanema Frye, Stephanie Lyn Rost, Maria Kinirons, Dawn Halkuff
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Processes and systems based on metabolic conversion efficiency
US 20100055271 A1
Abstract
A process for controlling body weight of a consumer obtains food energy data of candidate food servings to be ingested based on a human beings metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients of the candidate food servings and ingesting the food servings such that a sum of the food energy data thereof bears a predetermined relationship to predetermined food energy benchmark data of the consumer for a given period. Related processes for selecting and purchasing food, for producing food energy data and for producing a food product are provided. Related processes and systems for supplying food energy data to a requester and supplying meal plan data to a consumer are also provided.
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Claims(44)
1. A process for controlling body weight of a consumer, comprising, for each of a plurality of candidate food servings, obtaining respective food energy data representing an energy content of each of the candidate food servings based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients therein as energy; and ingesting food servings from the plurality of candidate food servings such that a sum of respective food energy data of the selected food servings bears a predetermined relationship to predetermined food energy benchmark data of the consumer for a given period.
2. The process of claim 1, comprising obtaining meal plan data identifying candidate food servings to be ingested by the consumer over the given period based on the respective food energy data and the food energy benchmark data, wherein the candidate food servings are ingested by the consumer in accordance with the meal plan data.
3. The process of claim 1, comprising, for each of the candidate food servings, obtaining respective food energy data based on protein energy data representing its protein energy content, carbohydrate energy data representing its carbohydrate energy content, and fat energy data representing its fat energy content, by adjusting at least one of the protein energy data, the carbohydrate energy data, and the fat energy data to reflect its metabolic conversion efficiency relative to at least one other thereof, and summing the protein energy data, the carbohydrate energy data and the fat energy data as adjusted.
4. The process of claim 1, comprising, for each of the candidate food servings, obtaining total food energy data representing its total energy content, protein energy content representing its protein energy content and dietary fiber energy data representing its dietary fiber energy content, by separating data representing its protein energy content and dietary energy content from the total food energy data to produce reduced energy content data, adjusting the protein energy data and the dietary fiber energy data to reflect its metabolic conversion efficiency relative to the other thereof, and summing the reduced energy data, the protein energy data, and the dietary fiber energy data as adjusted.
5. The process of claim 1, wherein obtaining respective food energy data comprises receiving data representing the first and second nutrients in a data processing system and processing the received data using the data processing system to produce the respective food energy data.
6. The process of claim 5, wherein receiving data in the data processing system comprises receiving data representing the first and second nutrients via a network, and further comprising communicating the respective food energy data from the data processing system via the network.
7. The process of claim 1, wherein obtaining respective food energy data comprises receiving identification data for a respective one of the candidate food servings in a data processing system; in the data processing system, obtaining data representing the first and second nutrients for the respective one of the candidate food servings based on the identification data; and processing the data representing the first and second nutrients in the data processing system to produce the respective food energy data for the respective one of the candidate food servings.
8. The process of claim 1, wherein obtaining respective food energy data comprises receiving identification data for a respective one of the candidate food servings in a data processing system; and accessing the respective food energy data for the respective one of the candidate food servings from storage of the data processing system using the food identification data.
9. A process for selecting and purchasing food, comprising, using at least one of food identification data and food serving nutrient data of a food offered for sale, obtaining food energy data representing an energy content thereof based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients within the food offered for sale as energy; selecting the food offered for sale based on its food energy data; and purchasing the selected food offered for sale.
10. The process of claim 9, wherein obtaining food energy data comprises obtaining respective food energy data of the food offered for sale based on protein energy data representing its protein energy content, carbohydrate energy data representing its carbohydrate energy content, and fat energy data representing its fat energy content, by adjusting at least one of the protein energy data, the carbohydrate energy data, and the fat energy data to reflect its metabolic conversion efficiency relative to at least one other thereof, and summing the protein energy data, the carbohydrate energy data and the fat energy data as adjusted.
11. The process of claim 9, wherein obtaining food energy data comprises obtaining total food energy data representing the total energy content of the food offered for sale, protein energy content representing its protein energy content and dietary fiber energy data representing its dietary fiber energy content, by separating data representing its protein energy content and dietary energy content from the total food energy data to produce reduced energy content data, adjusting the protein energy data and the dietary fiber energy data to reflect its metabolic conversion efficiency relative to the other thereof, and summing the reduced energy data, the protein energy data, and the dietary fiber energy data as adjusted.
12. The process of claim 9, wherein obtaining food energy data comprises receiving data representing the first and second nutrients in a data processing system and processing the received data using the data processing system to produce the respective food energy data.
13. The process of claim 12, wherein receiving data in the data processing system comprises receiving data representing the first and second nutrients via a network, and further comprising communicating the respective food energy data from the data processing system via the network.
14. A process for producing food energy data for a selected food, comprising, in a data processing system, receiving at least one of food identification data and food nutrient data of a selected food; in the data processing system, obtaining food energy data for the selected food based on the at least one of food identification data and food nutrient data thereof, and a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients in the selected food as energy.
15. The process of claim 14, comprising obtaining the food energy data for the selected food based on protein energy data representing its protein energy content, carbohydrate energy data representing its carbohydrate energy content, and fat energy data representing its fat energy content, by adjusting at least one of the protein energy data, the carbohydrate energy data, and the fat energy data to reflect its metabolic conversion efficiency relative to at least one other thereof, and summing the protein energy data, the carbohydrate energy data and the fat energy data as adjusted.
16. The process of claim 14, comprising obtaining the food energy data for the selected food by obtaining total food energy data representing its total energy content, protein energy content representing its protein energy content and dietary fiber energy data representing its dietary fiber energy content, separating data representing its protein energy content and dietary energy content from the total food energy data to produce reduced energy content data, adjusting the protein energy data and the dietary fiber energy data to reflect its metabolic conversion efficiency relative to the other thereof, and summing the reduced energy data, the protein energy data, and the dietary fiber energy data as adjusted.
17. The process of claim 14, comprising receiving data representing the first and second nutrients in the data processing system and processing the received data using the data processing system to produce the food energy data for the selected food.
18. The process of claim 14, comprising receiving the food identification data in the data processing system, using the food identification data to access the food nutrient data and processing the food nutrient data in the data processing system to produce the food energy data for the selected food.
19. The process of claim 14, comprising receiving the food identification data in the data processing system and using the food identification data to access the food energy data for the selected food.
20. The process of claim 14, comprising storing the food energy data in storage.
21. The process of claim 20, comprising storing the food energy data in a database of existing food energy data to update it.
22. A process for providing data to a data requester, comprising, receiving request data in a data processing system representing a request for food energy data of a predetermined food serving; in response to the request, obtaining food energy data for the predetermined food serving based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients therein as energy; and at least one of (a) communicating the food energy data to a device for presentation to the data requester, and (b) presenting the food energy data to the data requester via a presentation device of the data processing system.
23. The process of claim 22, comprising obtaining the food energy data for the predetermined food serving based on protein energy data representing its protein energy content, carbohydrate energy data representing its carbohydrate energy content, and fat energy data representing its fat energy content, by adjusting at least one of the protein energy data, the carbohydrate energy data, and the fat energy data to reflect its metabolic conversion efficiency relative to at least one other thereof, and summing the protein energy data, the carbohydrate energy data and the fat energy data as adjusted.
24. The process of claim 22, comprising obtaining the food energy data for the predetermined food serving by obtaining total food energy data representing its total energy content, protein energy content representing its protein energy content and dietary fiber energy data representing its dietary fiber energy content, separating data representing its protein energy content and dietary energy content from the total food energy data to produce reduced energy content data, adjusting the protein energy data and the dietary fiber energy data to reflect its metabolic conversion efficiency relative to the other thereof, and summing the reduced energy data, the protein energy data, and the dietary fiber energy data as adjusted.
25. The process of claim 22, comprising receiving request data in the data processing system representing first and second nutrients of the predetermined food serving and processing the received data using the data processing system to produce the food energy data for the predetermined food serving based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients therein as energy.
26. The process of claim 22, comprising receiving request data in the data processing system comprising food identification data for the predetermined food serving, using the food identification data to access data representing first and second nutrients of the predetermined food serving and processing the accessed data using the data processing system to produce the food energy data for the predetermined food serving based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients therein as energy.
27. The process of claim 22, comprising receiving request data in the data processing system comprising food identification data for the predetermined food serving, and using the food identification data to access the food energy data for the predetermined food serving.
28. A system for providing data to a data requester, comprising, an input operative to receive request data representing a request for food energy data of a predetermined food serving; a processor coupled with the input to receive the request data and configured to obtain food energy data based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients in the predetermined food serving as energy; and at least one of (a) communications coupled with the processor to receive the food energy data therefrom and to communicate the food energy data to a device for presentation to the data requester, and (b) a presentation device coupled with the processor to receive the food energy data and operative to present the food energy data to the data requester.
29. The system of claim 28, wherein the request data represents the first and second nutrients and the processor is operative to process the request data to obtain the food energy data.
30. The system of claim 28, further comprising storage coupled with the processor, wherein the request data comprises identification data identifying the predetermined food serving and the processor is configured to access data from the storage representing the first and second nutrients based on the identification data and to process the accessed data to obtain the food energy data.
31. The system of claim 28, comprising storage coupled with the processor, wherein the request data comprises identification data identifying the predetermined food serving and the processor is configured to access the food energy data from the storage based on the identification data.
32. A process for providing meal plan data to a consumer, comprising, receiving request data in a data processing system representing a request for a meal plan from a consumer; in response to the request obtaining meal plan data in the data processing system representing a plurality of predetermined food servings to be consumed by the consumer during a predetermined period based on food energy data for each of a plurality of predetermined food servings based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients in the predetermined food serving as energy; and at least one of (a) communicating the meal plan data from the data processing system to a device for presentation to the data requester, and (b) presenting the meal plan data to the data requester via a presentation device of the data processing system.
33. The process of claim 32, comprising obtaining the food energy data in the data processing system and producing the meal plan data in the data processing system based on the food energy data
34. The process of claim 32, wherein obtaining food energy data comprises, for each of the plurality of predetermined food servings, processing data representing first and second nutrients thereof to produce the food energy data.
35. The process of claim 32, wherein obtaining food energy data comprises, for each of the plurality of predetermined food servings, accessing data from storage representing the food energy data thereof.
36. A system for providing meal plan data to a consumer, comprising, an input operative to receive request data representing a request for a meal plan from the consumer; a processor coupled with the input to receive the request data and configured to obtain meal plan data representing a plurality of predetermined food servings to be consumed by the consumer during a predetermined period based on food energy data for each of a plurality of predetermined food servings based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients in the predetermined food serving as energy; and at least one of (a) communications coupled with the processor to receive the meal plan data therefrom and to communicate the meal plan data to a device for presentation to the consumer, and (b) a presentation device coupled with the processor to receive the meal plan data and operative to present the meal plan data to the consumer.
37. The system of claim 36, wherein the processor is configured to obtain the food energy data and to produce the meal plan data based on the food energy data.
38. The system of claim 36, wherein the processor is configured to obtain food energy data for each of the plurality of predetermined food servings by processing data representing first and second nutrients thereof to produce the food energy data
39. The system of claim 36, comprising storage coupled with the processor, and wherein the processor is configured to obtain food energy data for each of the plurality of predetermined food servings by accessing the food energy data thereof from the storage.
40. A process for producing a food product having food energy data associated therewith, comprising, obtaining a food product, supplying at least one of food identification data and food nutrient data of the food product; obtaining food energy data for the food product based on the at least one of food identification data and food nutrient data of the food product, and a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients in the food product as energy; and associating the food energy data with the food product.
41. The process of claim 40, wherein obtaining the food product comprises producing the food product.
42. The process of claim 40, wherein the food energy data is associated with the food product by including the food energy data on a substrate associated with the food product.
43. The process of claim 42, wherein the substrate comprises a label accompanying the food product.
44. The process of claim 42, wherein the substrate comprises packaging of the food product.
Description
BENEFIT AND RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application No. 61/092,981, filed Aug. 29, 2008, in the names of Karen Miller-Kovach, Ute Gerwig, Julia Peetz, Christine Jacobsohn, Wanema Frye, Stephanie Lyn Rost and Maria Kinirons. The present application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled Processes and Systems Based on Dietary Fiber as Energy (Attorney docket No. 26753.008); U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled Processes and Systems Using and Producing Food Healthfulness Data based on Food Metagroups (Attorney docket No. 26753.010); U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled Processes and Systems Using and Producing Food Healthfulness Data based on Linear Combinations of Nutrients (Attorney docket No. 26753.012); U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled Processes and Systems for Achieving and Assisting in Improved Nutrition (Attorney docket No. 26753.014); and U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled Processes and Systems for Achieving and Assisting in Improved Nutrition based on Food Energy Data and Relative Healthfulness Data (Attorney docket No. 26753.016), each of which is filed concurrently herewith and all of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Processes are provided for selecting, ingesting and/or purchasing foods for achieving weight control, as well as processes for producing food products, and systems and processes for assisting with each of the foregoing.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers provides a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight loss and weight control. With over four decades of weight management experience, expertise and know-how, Weight Watchers has become one of the most recognized and trusted brand names among weight conscious consumers.

Years ago, Weight Watchers pioneered innovative and successful methods for weight control and systems for assisting consumers in practicing such methods. Such methods and systems are the subjects of U.S. Pat. No. 6,040,531; No. 6,436,036; No. 6,663,564; No. 6,878,885 and No. 7,361,143, each of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. These methods assign values to food servings based on their calorie content, which is increased on the basis of fat content and decreased on the basis of dietary fiber content. This assignment is carried out using a proprietary formula developed by Weight Watchers scientists. The values for food servings consumed each day are summed and the consumer ensures that they do not exceed a predetermined maximum value. These methods afford a simple and effective weight control framework, especially for those who cannot devote substantial attention to their weight control efforts.

While the existing Weight Watchers® program has provided consumers with effective techniques that have assisted millions in their efforts to lose excess body weight using its proprietary formula, consumers have long expressed a desire that the formula reflect the relative satiety of different foods. Unfortunately, until now it has not been possible to quantify the aspect of satiety so that it could be incorporated in such a formula.

DISCLOSURE

FIG. 1 is a flow chart illustrating a process for controlling body weight in a human being in accordance with certain embodiments;

FIG. 2 illustrates certain embodiments of a data processing system useful in the processes disclosed herein;

FIG. 3 illustrates a client/server system useful in the processes disclosed herein; and

FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating certain disclosed processes for producing a food product having food energy data associated therewith.

For this application the following terms and definitions shall apply:

The term “energy content” as used herein refers to the energy content of a given food, whether or not adjusted for the metabolic conversion efficiency of one or more nutrients in the food.

The term “metabolic conversion efficiency” as used herein includes both absolute measures of metabolic conversion efficiency and the metabolic conversion efficiency of nutrients relative to each other.

The term “data” as used herein means any indicia, signals, marks, symbols, domains, symbol sets, representations, and any other physical form or forms representing information, whether permanent or temporary, whether visible, audible, acoustic, electric, magnetic, electromagnetic or otherwise manifested. The term “data” as used to represent predetermined information in one physical form shall be deemed to encompass any and all representations of corresponding information in a different physical form or forms.

The term “presentation data” as used herein means data to be presented to a user in any perceptible form, including but not limited to, visual form and aural form. Examples of presentation data include data displayed on a visual presentation device, such as a monitor, and data printed on paper.

The term “presentation device” as used herein means a device or devices capable of presenting data to a user in any perceptible form.

The term “database” as used herein means an organized body of related data, regardless of the manner in which the data or the organized body thereof is represented. For example, the organized body of related data may be in the form of one or more of a table, a map, a grid, a packet, a datagram, a frame, a file, an e-mail, a message, a document, a list or in any other form.

The term “image dataset” as used herein means a database suitable for use as presentation data or for use in producing presentation data.

The term “auxiliary image feature” as used herein means one or more of the color, brightness, shading, shape or texture of an image.

The term “network” as used herein includes both networks and internetworks of all kinds, including the Internet, and is not limited to any particular network or inter-network. For example, “network” includes those that are implemented using wired links, wireless links or any combination of wired and wireless links.

The terms “first”, “second”, “primary” and “secondary” are used to distinguish one element, set, data, object, step, process, activity or thing from another, and are not used to designate relative position or arrangement in time, unless otherwise stated explicitly.

The terms “coupled”, “coupled to”, and “coupled with” as used herein each mean a relationship between or among two or more devices, apparatus, files, circuits, elements, functions, operations, processes, programs, media, components, networks, systems, subsystems, and/or means, constituting any one or more of (a) a connection, whether direct or through one or more other devices, apparatus, files, circuits, elements, functions, operations, processes, programs, media, components, networks, systems, subsystems, or means, (b) a communication relationship, whether direct or through one or more other devices, apparatus, files, circuits, elements, functions, operations, processes, programs, media, components, networks, systems, subsystems, or means, and/or (c) a functional relationship in which the operation of any one or more devices, apparatus, files, circuits, elements, functions, operations, processes, programs, media, components, networks, systems, subsystems, or means depends, in whole or in part, on the operation of any one or more others thereof.

The terms “communicate,” “communicating” and “communication” as used herein include both conveying data from a source to a destination, and delivering data to a communication medium, system, channel, network, device, wire, cable, fiber, circuit and/or link to be conveyed to a destination. The term “communications” as used herein includes one or more of a communication medium, system, channel, network, device, wire, cable, fiber, circuit and link.

The term “processor” as used herein means processing devices, apparatus, programs, circuits, components, systems and subsystems, whether implemented in hardware, software or both, and whether or not programmable. The term “processor” as used herein includes, but is not limited to one or more computers, hardwired circuits, neural networks, signal modifying devices and systems, devices and machines for controlling systems, central processing units, programmable devices and systems, field programmable gate arrays, application specific integrated circuits, systems on a chip, systems comprised of discrete elements and/or circuits, state machines, virtual machines, data processors, processing facilities and combinations of any of the foregoing.

The term “data processing system” as used herein means a system implemented at least in part by hardware and comprising a data input device, a data output device and a processor coupled with the data input device to receive data therefrom and coupled with the output device to provide processed data thereto.

The terms “obtain”, “obtained” and “obtaining”, as used with respect to a processor or data processing system mean (a) producing data by processing data, (b) retrieving data from storage, or (c) requesting and receiving data from a further data processing system.

The terms “storage” and “data storage” as used herein mean one or more data storage devices, apparatus, programs, circuits, components, systems, subsystems, locations and storage media serving to retain data, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, and to provide such retained data.

The terms “food serving identification data” and “food serving ID data” as used herein mean data of any kind that is sufficient to identify a food and to convey an amount thereof, whether by mass, weight, volume, or size, or by reference to a standard or otherwise defined food serving, or by amounts of constituents thereof. The terms “amount” and “amounts” as used herein refer both to absolute and relative measures.

The terms “food identification data” and “food ID data” as used herein mean data of any kind that is sufficient to identify a food, whether or not such data conveys an amount thereof.

The inventors have discovered that the metabolic conversion efficiency of macronutrients in food inversely correlates to the relative satiety provided by such macronutrients. For example, a given amount of protein having a specific caloric content provides relatively greater satiety than either an amount of carbohydrates or fat having the same caloric content, while a given amount of carbohydrates having a specific caloric content provides relatively greater satiety than an amount of fat having the same caloric content. However, the metabolic conversion efficiency of protein is relatively low, while that of carbohydrates is somewhat higher and that of fat is nearly 100%. By weighting each of these macronutrients to reflect its metabolic conversion efficiency, it is possible to simultaneously weight it according to its relative satiety.

A process for controlling body weight of a consumer comprises, for each of a plurality of candidate food servings, obtaining respective food energy data representing an energy content of each of the candidate food servings based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients therein as energy; and ingesting food servings from the plurality of candidate food servings such that a sum of respective food energy data of the selected food servings bears a predetermined relationship to predetermined food energy benchmark data of the consumer for a given period.

In certain embodiments, the candidate food servings are selected such that the sum of the food energy data thereof bears the predetermined relationship to the predetermined food energy benchmark data; and the selected food servings are ingested. In certain embodiments, meal plan data comprising data identifying candidate food servings to be ingested by the consumer over the given period is obtained based on the respective food energy data and the food energy benchmark data, and the candidate food servings are ingested by the consumer in accordance with the meal plan data.

A process for selecting and purchasing food comprises, using at least one of food identification data and food serving nutrient data of a food offered for sale, obtaining food energy data representing an energy content thereof based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients within the food offered for sale as energy; selecting the food offered for sale based on its food energy data; and purchasing the selected food offered for sale.

A process for producing food energy data for a selected food comprises, in a data processing system, receiving at least one of food identification data and food nutrient data of a selected food; in the data processing system, obtaining food energy data for the selected food based on the at least one of food identification data and food nutrient data thereof, and a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients in the selected food as energy.

In certain embodiments, the food energy data is stored in storage. In certain ones of such embodiments, the food energy data is stored in a database of existing food energy data in order to update it.

A process for providing data to a data requester, comprises receiving request data in a data processing system representing a request for food energy data of a predetermined food serving; in response to the request, obtaining food energy data for the predetermined food serving based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients therein as energy; and at least one of (a) communicating the food energy data to a device for presentation to the data requester, and (b) presenting the food energy data to the data requester via a presentation device of the data processing system.

A system for providing data to a data requester comprises an input operative to receive request data representing a request for food energy data of a predetermined food serving; a processor coupled with the input to receive the request data and configured to obtain food energy data based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients in the predetermined food serving as energy; and at least one of (a) communications coupled with the processor to receive the food energy data therefrom and to communicate the food energy data to a device for presentation to the data requester, and (b) a presentation device coupled with the processor to receive the food energy data and operative to present the food energy data to the data requester.

A process for providing meal plan data to a consumer, comprises receiving request data in a data processing system representing a request for a meal plan from a consumer; in response to the request, obtaining meal plan data in the data processing system representing a plurality of predetermined food servings to be consumed by the consumer during a predetermined period based on food energy data for each of a plurality of predetermined food servings based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients in the predetermined food serving as energy; and at least one of (a) communicating the meal plan data from the data processing system to a device for presentation to the data requester, and (b) presenting the meal plan data to the data requester via a presentation device of the data processing system.

In certain embodiments, the food energy data is obtained in the data processing system and the data processing system produces the meal plan data based on the food energy data.

A system for providing meal plan data to a consumer comprises an input operative to receive request data representing a request for a meal plan from the consumer; a processor coupled with the input to receive the request data and configured to obtain meal plan data representing a plurality of predetermined food servings to be consumed by the consumer during a predetermined period based on food energy data for each of a plurality of predetermined food servings based on a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients in the predetermined food serving as energy; and at least one of (a) communications coupled with the processor to receive the meal plan data therefrom and to communicate the meal plan data to a device for presentation to the consumer, and (b) a presentation device coupled with the processor to receive the meal plan data and operative to present the meal plan data to the consumer.

In certain embodiments, the processor is configured to obtain the food energy data and to produce the meal plan data based on the food energy data.

A process for producing a food product having food energy data associated therewith comprises, obtaining a food product, supplying at least one of food identification data and food nutrient data of the food product; obtaining food energy data for the food product based on the at least one of food identification data and food nutrient data of the food product, and a human being's metabolic efficiency in utilizing first and second nutrients in the food product as energy; and associating the food energy data with the food product.

In certain embodiments, the process includes producing the food product. In certain embodiments, the food energy data is associated with the food product by including the food energy data on a substrate associated with the food product. In certain ones of such embodiments, the substrate comprises a package for the food product. In certain ones of such embodiments, the substrate comprises a label accompanying the food product and/or packaging of the food product.

Food servings can be specified in various ways, and preferably in ways that are meaningful to consumers according to their local dining customs. Food servings may be specified by weight, mass, size or volume, or according to customary ways of consuming food in the relevant culture. For example, in the United States it is customary to use measures such as cups, quarts, teaspoons, tablespoons, ounces, pounds, or even a “pinch”, in Europe, it is more common to use units such as liters, deciliters, grams and kilograms. In China and Japan it is also appropriate to use a measure such as a standard mass or weight held by chopsticks when consuming food.

In certain embodiments, food energy data is produced based on protein energy data representing the protein energy content, carbohydrate energy data representing the carbohydrate energy content and fat energy data representing the fat energy content, of a candidate food serving, by applying respective weight data to weight each of the protein energy data, the carbohydrate energy data and the fat energy data, each of the weight data representing the relative metabolic conversion efficiency of the corresponding nutrient and forming the food energy data based on a sum of the weighted protein energy data, the weighted carbohydrate energy data and the weighted fat energy data. The data for the various nutrients is provided either by the consumer or by another source based on data from the consumer, such as food identification data. If the protein energy data is represented as “PRO”, the carbohydrate energy data as “CHO” and the fat energy data as “FAT”, in certain ones of such embodiments, the food energy data (represented as “FED”) is obtained by processing the data in the manner represented by the following equation:


FED=(Wpro×PRO)+(Wcho×CHO)+(Wfat×FAT),  (1)

where Wpro represents the respective weighting data for PRO, Wcho represents the respective weighting data for CHO and Wfat represents the respective weighting data for FAT. In certain ones of such embodiments, Wpro is selected from the range 0.7≦Wpro≦0.8, Wcho is selected from the range 0.9≦Wcho≦0.95 and Wfat is selected from the range 0.97≦Wfat≦1.0. In certain ones of such embodiments, Wpro is substantially equal to 0.8, Wcho is substantially equal to 0.95 and Wfat is substantially equal to 1.0. Various measures of energy can be employed, such as kilocalories (kcal) and kilojoules (kJ).

In certain embodiments, food energy data is produced based on protein data representing the mass or weight of the protein content (represented as PROm), carbohydrate data representing the mass or weight of the carbohydrate content (represented as CHOm) and fat data representing the mass or weight of the fat content (represented as FATm), of a candidate food serving. In such embodiments, the protein data, carbohydrate data and fat data are converted to energy data in producing the food energy data, by processing the protein data, carbohydrate data and fat data in the manner represented by the following equation:


FED=(Wpro×Cp×PROm)+(Wcho×Cc×CHOm)+(Wfat×Cf×FATm),  (2)

where Cp is a conversion factor for converting PROm to data representing the energy content of PROm, Cc is a conversion factor for converting CHOm to data representing the energy content of CHOm, and Cf is a conversion factor for converting FATm to data representing the energy content of FATm. For example where the food energy data is represented in kilocalories and PROm, CHOm and FATm are expressed in grams, Cp is selected as 4 kilocalories/gram, Cc is selected as 4 kilocalories/gram and Cf is selected as 9 kilocalories/gram. Mass and weight data can be expressed in the alternative by units such as ounces and pounds.

In certain embodiments, food energy data is produced based on the protein energy data, the carbohydrate energy data, the fat energy data, and dietary fiber energy data, of the candidate food serving, by applying respective weight data to weight each of the protein energy data, the carbohydrate energy data, the fat energy data and the dietary fiber energy data representing its relative metabolic conversion efficiency and forming the food energy data based on a sum of the weighted protein energy data, the weighted carbohydrate energy data, the weighted fat energy data and the weighted dietary fiber energy data. If Wpro represents the respective weighting data for PRO, Wcho represents the respective weighting data for CHO, Wfat represents the respective weighting data for FAT and Wdf represents the respective weighting data for dietary fiber, in certain ones of such embodiments, the food energy data (represented as “FED”) is obtained by processing the data in the manner represented by the following equation:


FED=(Wpro×PRO)+(Wcho×CHO)+(Wfat×FAT)+(Wdf×DF).  (3)

In certain ones of such embodiments, Wpro is selected from the range 0.7≦Wpro≦0.8, Wcho is selected from the range 0.9≦Wcho≦0.95, Wfat is selected from the range 0.97≦Wfat≦1.0 and Wdf is selected from the range 0<Wdf≦0.5. In certain ones of such embodiments, Wpro is substantially equal to 0.8, Wcho is substantially equal to 0.95, Wfat is substantially equal to 1.0 and Wdf is substantially equal to 0.25.

In certain embodiments, food energy data is produced based on protein data representing the mass or weight of the protein content (represented as PROm), carbohydrate data representing the mass or weight of the carbohydrate content (represented as CHOm), fat data representing the mass or weight of the fat content (represented as FATm) and dietary fiber data representing the mass or weight of the dietary fiber content (represented as DFm), of a candidate food serving. In such embodiments, the protein data, carbohydrate data, fat data and dietary fiber data, are converted to energy data in producing the food energy data, by processing the protein data, carbohydrate data, fat data and dietary fiber data in the manner represented by the following equation:


FED=(Wpro×Cp×PROm)+(Wcho×Cc×CHOm)+(Wfat×Cf×FATm)+(Wdf×Cdf×DFm),  (4)

where Cp is a conversion factor for converting PROm to data representing an energy content of PROm, Cc is a conversion factor for converting CHOm to data representing an energy content of CHOm, Cf is a conversion factor for converting FATm to data representing an energy content of FATm and Cdf is a conversion factor for converting DFm to data representing an energy content of DFm. For example where the food energy data is represented in kilocalories and PROm, CHOm, FATm and DFm are expressed in grams, Cp is selected as 4 kilocalories/gram, Cc is selected as 4 kilocalories/gram, Cf is selected as 9 kilocalories/gram and Cdf is selected as 4 kilocalories/gram.

In the US and in CA, where food labeling standards include a food product's dietary fiber in its total carbohydrate amount in grams (represented as “Total_CHOm” herein), food energy data may instead be produced by processing the protein data, carbohydrate data, fat data and dietary fiber data in the manner represented by the following equation:


FED=(Wpro×Cp×PROm)+(Wcho×Cc×[Total CHOm−DFm])+(Wfat×Cf×FATm)+(Wdf×Cdf×DFm).  (5)

In certain embodiments, the food energy data is produced in a modified fashion in order to discourage consumption of foods having a high saturated fat content, so that the food energy data (FED) is based both on the relative metabolic conversion efficiency of selected nutrients and weighting data that promotes consumption of relatively more healthful foods. In such embodiments, and where (as in the US and CA) food labeling standards include a food product's saturated fat (represented as “Sat_FATm” herein) in its total amount of fat in grams (represented as “Total_FATm” herein), the food energy data is produced by processing the protein data, carbohydrate data, fat data, saturated fat data and dietary fiber data in the manner represented by the following equation:


FED=(Wpro×Cp×PROm)+(Wcho×Cc×[Total CHOm−DFm])+(Wdf×Cdf×DFm)+(Wfat×Cf×[Total_FATm−Sat_FATm])+(Wsfat×Cf×Sat_Fatm),  (6)

wherein Wsfat represents modified weighting data for Sat_FATm. In certain ones of such embodiments, Wpro is selected from the range 0.7≦Wpro≦0.8, Wcho is selected from the range 0.9≦Wcho≦0.95, Wfat is selected from the range 0.97≦Wfat≦1.0, Wdf is selected from the range 0<Wdf≦0.5, and Wsfat is selected from the range 1.0≦Wsfat≦1.3. In particular ones of such embodiments, Wpro is substantially equal to 0.8, Wcho is substantially equal to 0.95, Wfat is substantially equal to 1.0, Wdf is substantially equal to 0.25 and Wsfat is substantially equal to 1.3.

The relatively higher value assigned to Wsfat is based, in part, on the desirability of discouraging consumption of saturated fat, due to the ill-health effects associated with this nutrient. The higher ranges and values of Wpro and Wcho in the presently disclosed embodiments relative to those employed in embodiments disclosed hereinabove, are useful for weight loss processes. That is, consumers engaged in a weight loss process by limiting their food energy consumption could, in some cases, be encouraged to eat foods higher in saturated fat if it is assigned a relatively higher weight than other nutrients, since this tends to reduce their overall food energy consumption. By assigning relatively higher ranges and values for Wpro and Wcho for use in processes that also weight saturated fat higher than unsaturated fat, the potential to encourage consumption of saturated fat is substantially reduced. Accordingly, the weights assigned to Wpro and Wcho in the presently disclosed embodiments are based both on the relative metabolic conversion efficiency of protein and carbohydrates and the desire to promote consumption of relatively more healthful foods.

In certain embodiments, for foods containing alcohol, the foregoing processes as represented by equation (6) are modified to add a term representing an energy component represented by the amount of alcohol in the food. Where the amount of alcohol (by weight or mass) is expressed in grams (represented as “ETOHm” herein), this term is produced by multiplying ETOHm by a weighting factor Wetoh and a conversion factor Cetoh, where Wetoh is selected from the range 1.0≦Wetoh≦1.3, and in particular ones of such embodiments is substantially equal to 1.29, and Cetoh is selected as 9 kilocalories/gram, based on the principle that alcohol is metabolized in the same pathway as fat. The higher value assigned to Wetoh is based, in part, on the desirability of discouraging consumption of alcohol, due to the ill-health effects associated with this nutrient. Where a food contains alcohol, in certain embodiments its food energy data is produced by processing PROm, Total_CHOm, DFm, Total_FATm, Sat_FATm, and ETOHm in the manner represented by the following equation:


FED=(Wpro×Cp×PROm)+(Wcho×Cc×[Total CHOm−DFm])+(Wdf×Cdf×DFm)+(Wfat×Cf×[Total_FATm−Sat_FATm])+(Wsfat×Cf×Sat_Fatm)+(Wetoh×Cetoh×ETOHm).  (7)

The process represented by equation (7) is modified for use in CE and AU and is represented as follows:


FED=(Wpro×Cp×PROm)+(Wcho×Cc×Total CHOm)+(Wdf×Cdf×DFm)+(Wfat×Cf×[Total_FATm−Sat_FATm])+(Wsfat×Cf×Sat_Fatm)+(Wetoh×Cetoh×ETOHm).  (8)

In certain embodiments, for foods containing sugar alcohol, the foregoing processes as represented by equations (7) and (8) are modified to add a term representing an energy component represented by the amount of sugar alcohol in the food. Where the amount of sugar alcohol (by weight or mass) is expressed in grams (represented as “SETOHm” herein), this term is produced by multiplying SETOHm by a weighting factor Wsetoh and a conversion factor Csetoh, where Wsetoh is selected from the range 0.9≦Wsetoh≦0.95, and in particular ones of such embodiments is substantially equal to 0.95, and Csetoh is selected from the range 0.2 to 4.0 kilocalories/gram, and in particular ones of such embodiments is substantially equal to 2.4. Where a food contains sugar alcohol, in certain embodiments its food energy data is produced by processing PROm, Total_CHOm, DFm, Total_FATm, Sat_FATm, ETOHm and SETOHm in the manner represented by the following equation:


FED=(Wpro×Cp×PROm)+(Wcho×Cc×[Total CHOm×DFm−SETOHm])+(Wdf×Cdf×DFm)+(Wfat×Cf×[Total_FATm−Sat_FATm])+(Wsfat×Cf×Sat_Fatm)+(Wetoh×Cetoh×ETOHm)+(Wsetoh×Csetoh×SETOHm).  (9)

The process represented by equation (9) is modified for use in CE and AU and is represented as follows:


FED=(Wpro×Cp×PROm)+(Wcho×Cc×[Total CHOm−SETOHm])+(Wdf×Cdf×DFm)+(Wfat×Cf×[Total_FATm−Sat_FATm])+(Wsfat×Cf×Sat_Fatm)+(Wetoh×Cetoh×ETOHm)+(Wsetoh×Csetoh×SETOHm).  (10)

In certain embodiments, food energy data is produced based on total food energy data representing the total energy content, protein energy data representing the protein energy content, and dietary fiber energy data representing the dietary fiber energy content, of a candidate food serving. More specifically, the food energy data is produced by separating data representing the protein energy content and the dietary fiber energy content (if present) from the total food energy data to produce reduced energy content data, applying respective weight data to weight each of the protein energy data and the dietary fiber energy data, each of the weight data representing the relative metabolic conversion efficiency of the corresponding nutrient and forming the food energy data based on a sum of the reduced energy content data, the weighted protein energy data, and the weighted dietary fiber energy data. The data for the various nutrients is provided either by the consumer or by another source based on data from the consumer, such as food identification data. If the total food energy data is represented as “TFE”, protein energy data is represented as “PRO” and the dietary fiber energy data as “DF”, in certain ones of such embodiments where TFE includes an energy component of DF (as in the case of foods labeled according to practices adopted in the US and in the Dominion of Canada (CA)), the food energy data is obtained by processing the data in the manner represented by the following equation:


FED=(TFE−PRO−DF)+(Wpro×PRO)+(Wdf×DF),  (11)

where Wpro represents the respective weighting data for PRO and Wdf represents the respective weighting data for DF. In certain ones of such embodiments, Wpro is selected from the range 0.7≦Wpro≦0.8 and Wdf is selected from the range 0<Wdf≦0.5. In certain ones of such embodiments, Wpro is substantially equal to 0.8 and Wdf is substantially equal to 0.25. Various measures of energy can be employed, such as kilocalories (kcal) and kilojoules (kJ).

For those instances where TFE does not include a dietary fiber component (as in the case of foods labeled according to practices adopted in Australia (AU) and the countries of central Europe (CE)), the process of equation (11) is modified to the following form:


FED=(TFE−PRO)+(Wpro×PRO)+(Wdf×DF).  (12)

In certain embodiments, food energy data is produced based both on the total food energy data, as well as on protein data representing the mass or weight of the protein content (represented as PROm) and dietary fiber data representing the mass or weight of the dietary fiber content (represented as DFm), of a candidate food serving. In such embodiments and for foods labeled as in the US and CA, the protein data and dietary fiber data are converted to energy data in producing the food energy data, by processing the total food energy data, the protein data and dietary fiber data in the manner represented by the following equation:


FED=[TFE−(Cp×PROm)−(Cdf×DFm)]+(Wpro×Cp×PROm)+(Wdf×Cdf×DFm),  (13)

where Cp is a conversion factor for converting PROm to data representing the energy content of PROm and Cdf is a conversion factor for converting DFm to data representing an energy content of DFm. For example where the food energy data is represented in kilocalories and PROm and DFm are expressed in grams, Cp is selected as 4 kilocalories/gram and Cdf is selected as 4 kilocalories/gram. Mass and weight data can be expressed in the alternative by units such as ounces and pounds.

For those instances where TFE does not include a dietary fiber component (as in the case of foods labeled according to practices adopted in AU and CE), the process of equation (13) is modified to the following form:


FED=[TFE−(Cp×PROm)]+(Wpro×Cp×PROm)+(Wdf×Cdf×DFm).  (14)

For the consumer's convenience, in many applications (such as the Weight Watchers® program) the food energy data is converted to simplified whole number data for a candidate food serving by producing dietary data expressed as whole number data by dividing the food energy data by factor data, such as data having a value of 35, and rounding the resulting value to produce the simplified whole number data. (Of course, to assign 35 as the value of the factor data is arbitrary, and any other value such as 50, 60 or 70 may be used for this purpose.)

In the manner described above, the consumer can easily track food consumption throughout a period, such as a day or a week, (either manually or with the assistance of a data processing system) to ensure that a predetermined sum of the dietary data for the food consumed bears a predetermined relationship to a value of predetermined whole number benchmark data based on one or more of the consumer's age, body weight, height, gender and activity level. For example, if the consumer is following a weight loss program, the predetermined whole number benchmark data is set at a value selected to ensure that the consumer will lose weight at a safe rate if he or she consumes an amount of food during the period having a sum of dietary data that does not exceed the predetermined whole number benchmark data.

Since individual food energy needs vary with the individual's age, weight, gender, height and activity level, in certain embodiments the predetermined whole number benchmark data is selected based on one or more of these variables. In such embodiments, food energy needs are estimated based on methods published by the National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., USA in Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein and Amino Acids, 2005, pages 203 and 204. More specifically, as explained therein these methods estimate that men aged 19 years and older have a total energy expenditure (TEE) determined as follows:


TEE=864−(9.72×age)+PA×(14.2×weight+503×height),  (15)

and that women aged 19 years and older have a TEE determined as follows:


TEE=387−(7.31×age)+PA×(10.9×weight+660.7×height),  (16)

where age is given in years, weight in kilograms and height in meters.

In such embodiments, these methods are employed on the basis that all individuals have a “low active” activity level, so that the activity level (PA) for men is set at 1.12 and PA for women is set at 1.14. The published methods assume a 10 percent conversion cost regardless of the types and amounts of nutrients consumed; consequently, TEE is adjusted by subtracting 10 percent of the calculated TEE. Also, the published method of calculating TEE assigns an energy content of zero to certain foods having a non-zero energy content. The total energy content of such foods consumed within a given day generally falls within a range of 150 to 250 kilocalories, which may be normalized as 200 kilocalories. Accordingly, TEE as determined by the published method is adjusted to produce adjusted TEE (ATEE) in a process represented by the following equation:


ATEE=TEE−(TEE×0.10)−200,  (17)

where ATEE and TEE are given in kilocalories.

For consumers carrying out a process of reducing body weight, the predetermined whole number benchmark is obtained by subtracting an amount from the adjusted TEE selected to ensure a predetermined weight loss over a predetermined period of time. For example, a safe weight loss process can be selected to produce a loss of two pounds per week, or a consumption of 1000 kilocalories per day less than ATEE for a given individual. In this example, to produce the predetermined whole number benchmark data (PWNB), where the factor data used to produce the dietary data for the candidate food servings (whether having a value of 35, 50, 60, 70 or other value) is represented as FAC, such data is produced by a process represented by the following equation:


PWNB=(ATEE−1000)/FAC.  (18)

To achieve weight loss, the value of (ATEE−1000) in certain embodiments is selected to fall within a range of 1000 kilocalories to 2500 kilocalories, so that if (ATEE−1000) is less than 1000 kilocalories, then (ATEE is set equal to 1000 kilocalories, and if (ATEE−1000) is greater than 2500 kilocalories, (ATEE−1000) is set equal to 2500 kilocalories. However, in various other embodiments, the upper limit of 2500 kilocalories varies from 2000 to 3000 kilocalories, and the lower limit of 1000 kilocalories varies from 500 to 1500 kilocalories.

FIG. 1 illustrates a process for controlling body weight in a human being in which a consumer wishes to reduce his or her body weight. At the beginning of a selected period, such as a day or a week, a variable SUM is set 20 to 0. A consumer considers ingesting a candidate food serving and acquires 24 data representing its identity and/or its nutrient content. In order to evaluate the desirability of ingesting the candidate food serving, the consumer obtains 26 food energy data for the candidate food serving based on at least one of the data representing its identity and nutrient content. If the consumer is considering a food serving such as a WEIGHT WATCHERS® SMART ONES® prepared meal, the consumer obtains the food energy data from an image printed on its packaging, so that the food energy data is based on data representing the identity of the candidate food serving. If the consumer is considering a food serving that is a different packaged food that does not conveniently include the food energy data on its package or an unpackaged food, such as produce, the consumer uses data comprising one of the identity of the food and its nutrient content to obtain the food energy data. This is achieved using one of the processes disclosed hereinabove, using an appropriate data processing system such as a personal digital assistant (PDA), laptop computer, desktop computer or cellular telephone either to obtain the food energy data based on its own stored data, or by obtaining some or all of the necessary data from a networked server.

Based on the obtained food energy data the consumer decides 30 whether to ingest the candidate food serving or to reject it. If the value of SUM would exceed predetermined maximum data if the consumer ingests the candidate food serving, the consumer decides 30 to reject it and the process returns to 24 to be repeated when the consumer again considers a candidate food serving for ingestion. If the consumer decides to ingest the candidate food serving, the food energy data is added 32 to SUM, the consumer ingests 36 the candidate food serving and the process returns to 24 to be repeated when the consumer again considers a candidate food serving for ingestion. It will be appreciated that steps 32 and 36 need not be carried out in the order illustrated.

Of course, if the consumer instead is attempting to gain body weight, then her or she selects and ingests candidate food servings within the period whose food energy data exceeds a predetermined benchmark.

FIG. 2 illustrates a data processing system 40 of certain embodiments useful in carrying out the process of FIG. 1. The data processing system 40 comprises a processor 44, a storage 50 coupled with the processor 44, an input 56 coupled with processor 44, a presentation device 60 coupled with processor 44 and communications 64 coupled with processor 44.

Where system 40 is implemented as a PDA, laptop computer, desktop computer or cellular telephone, in certain ones of such embodiments the input 56 comprises one or more of a keypad, a keyboard, a point-and-click device (such as a mouse), a touchscreen, a microphone, switch(es), a removable storage or the like, and presentation device 60 comprises an LCD display, a plasma display, a CRT display, a printer, lights, LED's or the like.

In certain ones of such embodiments, storage 50 stores the necessary weighting data and conversion factor data necessary to carry out one or more of the processes summarized in equations (1) through (14) hereinabove. Using input 56, the consumer inputs the data PRO, CHO and FAT, the data PROm, CHOm and FATm, or the data PROm, Total_CHOm, DFm, Total_FATm, Sat_FATm, ETOHm (as available) and SETOHm (as available), for a food or candidate food serving depending on the process to be carried out. Processor 44 retrieves the necessary weighting data and conversion factor data, as need be, from storage 50 and processes the input data according to one of equations (1) through (14) to produce the food energy data. Processor 44 then controls presentation device 60 to display the food energy data to the consumer.

In certain ones of such embodiments, storage 50 stores food energy data for a plurality of predetermined foods, which can be retrieved using an address based on an identification of the food input by the consumer using input 56. Processor 44 produces an address for the corresponding food energy data in storage 50 and reads the food energy data therefrom using the address. Processor 44 then controls presentation device 60 to display the food energy data to the consumer.

In certain ones of such embodiments, the food energy data stored in storage 50 is downloaded from a server via a network. With reference to FIG. 3, a plurality of data processing systems 40′ and 40″, each corresponding to data processing system 40 access a server 76 via a network 70 to obtain the food energy data, either to obtain a database of food energy data or to update such a database stored in their storage 50. Network 70 may be a LAN, WAN, metropolitan area network or an internetwork, such as the Internet. Server 76 stores food energy data for a large number and variety of foods and candidate food servings which have been produced thereby, obtained from another host on network 70 or a different network, or input from a removable storage device or via an input of server 76 (not shown for purposes of simplicity and clarity).

In certain ones of such embodiments, processor 44 of one of data processing systems 40′ and 40″ receives the input data from input 56 and the consumer, and controls communications 64 to communicate such data to server 76 via network 70. Server 76 either retrieves the corresponding food energy data from a storage thereof (not shown for purposes of simplicity and clarity), or produces the food energy data from the received data using the weighting data and conversion data, as appropriate, and communicates the food energy data to communications 64. Processor 44 then controls presentation device 60 to display the food energy data to the consumer.

The systems of FIGS. 2 and 3 are configured in certain embodiments to produce meal plan data for a person on request. A meal plan for a given person is based on a personal profile of the person and food energy data produced for a variety of foods, either prior to the request for the meal plan data or upon such request. The personal profile includes such data as may be necessary to retrieve or produce a meal plan tailored to the needs and/or desires of the requesting person, and can include data such as the person's weight, height, body fat, gender, age, attitude, athleticism, weight goals, race, religion, ethnicity, blood type, health restrictions and needs, such as diseases and injuries, and consequent dietary restrictions and needs. This data is entered by the requesting person via input 56 of the system 40 in FIG. 2, and stored as a personal profile either by processor 44 in storage 50, or communicated by communications 64 to be stored by server 76.

In certain embodiments, processor 44 accesses appropriate instructions from storage 50 to produce a plurality of meal plans each designed to fulfill predetermined criteria, such as a weight loss diet, a weight gain diet, a weight maintenance diet, a low-fat diet, a low carbohydrate diet, an ethnically or religiously appropriate diet, or the like. Criteria and methods for producing such diets are well known and encompass the criteria and methods disclosed by US published patent application No. 2004/0171925, published Sep. 2, 2004 in the names of David Kirchoff, et al. and assigned to the assignee of the present application. US 2004/0171925 is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

Processor 44 also obtains food energy data produced as described hereinabove for the various foods in or to be included in the meal plan data, and selects and/or substitutes foods for the meal plan based on the food energy data. In certain ones of such embodiments, for a person attempting to lose body weight processor 44 selects and/or substitutes the foods based on the food energy data in order to ensure that the person can achieve the desired weight loss safely. In certain ones of such embodiments, the processor 44 produces meal plan data matched to predetermined criteria and stores the data in storage 50 for subsequent access upon a request for meal plan data. Upon receipt of such a request, processor 44 accesses the meal plan data based on a requester's profile data and presents it to the requester via presentation device 60.

Once the meal plan data is been thus produced, processor 44 controls presentation device 60 to present the meal plan data to the requesting person. In certain embodiments in which the server 76 obtains the meal plan data, server 76 communicates the meal plan data to communications 64 for presentation to the requesting person via presentation device 60. In certain ones of such embodiments, the server 76 produces meal plan data matched to predetermined criteria and stores the data for subsequent access upon a request for meal plan data. Upon receipt of such a request from one of systems 40′ and 40″, server 76 accesses the meal plan data based on a requester's profile data and communicates it to the requesting system for presentation to the requester.

FIG. 4 is a flow chart used to illustrate certain embodiments of a process for producing a food product having food energy data associated therewith. A food product is obtained 300, whether by producing the food product, by retrieving it from inventory or receiving a delivery thereof. Accordingly, the food product may be a processed food product, or it may be a raw food product, such as an agricultural product or seafood.

At least one of food identification data and food nutrient data of the food product is supplied 310. The food identification data may be the name of the food, a stock keeping unit or other data as described hereinbelow. Food energy data for the food product is obtained 320 based on the food identification data or the food nutrient data, using one of the processes disclosed hereinabove. In certain ones of such embodiments, the food identification data is input to a data processing system storing food energy data for one or more food products. In this example, the food identification data may be a name of the food product, an identifier such as a stock keeping unit, or data which associates the food product with its respective stored food energy data. In certain ones of such embodiments, such food nutrient data is supplied to a data processing system as may be required to produce food energy data for the food product using one of the processes disclosed hereinabove. In certain ones of such embodiments, the food energy data is obtained from an appropriate record or calculated in accordance with one of the processes disclosed hereinabove.

The food energy data obtained as disclosed hereinabove is associated 330 with the food product. In certain ones of such embodiments, the food energy data is printed, applied or otherwise made visible on packaging of the food product. In certain ones of such embodiments, the food energy data is made visible on a label affixed on or to the food product, such as an adhesive-backed label on produce or a label tethered to a food product.

The foregoing disclosure of certain embodiments provides exemplary ways of implementing the principles of the present invention, and the scope of the invention is not limited by this disclosure. This invention can be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete to those skilled in the art. The scope of the present invention is instead defined by the following claims.

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification426/383, 434/262
International ClassificationB65B55/00, G09B23/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06Q30/0601, G06Q99/00, G06Q50/10, G06F19/3475, G09B19/0092, G06Q30/0623, A23L1/293
European ClassificationG06Q50/10, G06F19/34M, G06Q30/0601, G06Q99/00
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