Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3630172 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 28, 1971
Filing dateJul 15, 1970
Priority dateJul 15, 1970
Publication numberUS 3630172 A, US 3630172A, US-A-3630172, US3630172 A, US3630172A
InventorsNeumann Marcel, Siegal Burton L
Original AssigneeNeumann Marcel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Diet reminder manikin
US 3630172 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventors Marcel Neumann 7240 Lowell, Lincolnwood, 111. 60646; Burton L. Siegal, Skokie, Ill. [211 App]. No. 54,873 [22] Filed July15, 1970 [45] Patented Dec. 28, 1971 [73] Assignee said Neumann, by said Siege! [54] DIET REMINDER MANIKIN 16 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S.Cl 116/114, to/106.21 141/94, 221/2, 235/123 [51] Int. Cl ..G01d 21/00 [50] Field of Search 116/114; 235/18, 68,123;40/106.21, 28 C; 53/78, 248; 141/94; 221/2 {56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 179,922 7/1876 Jenkins 235/123 715,460 12/1902 Daly..... 235/123 715,461 12/1902 Daly 235/123 1,568,272 1/1926 Diago 235/68 2,667,001 1/1954 Sheridan 40/106.21

Primary Examiner- Louis J. Capozi AnorneySilverman & Cass ABSTRACT: A structure comprising a manikin enclosed in a suitable enclosure is capable of manipulation by the user each time that a number of calories of food or grams of carbohydrate has been consumed by the user. The manipulation may take the form of dropping balls into the hollow of the manikin, or releasing a small amount of colored liquid to flow into the manikin or moving a colored member to change the appearance of the manikin. ln each case the manipulation is performed during the day in such degrees that normal food intake by the user with orthodox manipulation will not result in any distortion or out-of-the-ordinary appearance of the manikin. An excess of manipulation on the other hand will make a visible change from the normal in the appearance of the manikin. This provides a reminder for the normal food consumption of the dieting user, but also provides a psychological reminder of the results of excess. For example, the manikin will appear bloated, or excessively colored, etc., if the user indulges in excess food and is religious in manipulating the manikin for each increment of intake.

DIET REMINDER MANIKIN THE FIELD OF THE INVENTION The field of this invention is visual-controlled devices for persons following diets. There have been many devices and schemes for attempting to urge a person who is on a diet to abide by the rules of the diet. Perhaps the most successful of such schemes involve meetings, consultations, and generally social efforts, but a larger majority of so-called diet watchers are not able to attend meetings or spend time socializing.

For the individual diet watcher, it is a simple matter of keeping a record of the number of calories or the grams of carbohydrates or other materials which are consumed and resisting when the desired amount has been reached. In this regard, a simple pencil and piece of paper would be all that is sufficient for this purpose but the factor of will power enters into the situation and as a result, most persons required to watch their diet, find it very difficult to adhere to the diet, computations and calculations notwithstanding.

The invention herein contemplates a visual control device on the basis of which the diet watcher carries a small pocket size device which is manipulated each time calories or carbohydrates, etc., are consumed. With each manipulation of the device, the user can see a change in the device. Several different types are described in the specification which follows, but basically, all have the same concept in mind, namely, there is a visual indication of capacity and there is a capacity which is built into the device which may be exceeded. Upon exceeding the capacity of the device, there is a visual and/or physical change whichis out of the ordinary to indicate to the user that he has exceeded his allotted intake.

Several examples are shown, in one of which the device may become distorted or swelled and in two others of which the device may become excessively colored.

Thus, the user has a continuous computation of intake and as well there is a psychological assist to the willpower of the person since the person knows that when the allotted number of calories or carbohydrates has been exceeded there will be an observable change. Accordingly, there is a desire to keep this from happening.

There are several factors which make the invention quite effective. These include the following:

Most obese individuals suffer a distorted body image and consequently the normal appearance of the figurine or manikin in the device of the invention is an idealized figure for the diet watcher to observe. When he sees the size or appearance of the idealized image change, he is regretful and hence he is urged not to see this device change and it instills a desire to stick to his diet.

There is a Freudian concept of oral satisfaction which, for example, plays a major role in the concept of the figurine or manikin appearing to be feeding. This makes carrying the device pleasant and watching it feed while manipulating the same contributes to the well being of the user.

A third factor is the psychological aspect of having a good luck charm which, while childlike, is nevertheless a concomitant of many obese and hence usually immature persons. This also gives satisfaction.

A fourth factor is the concept of todays visually oriented people being very important. The user does not have to do any computing nor write anything down but merely to rotate one cylinder with respect to another in the device or press a button in order to add the number of calories or carbohydrates which is permitted. This is a simple matter and in its simplicity it is very effective.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the invention, the device comprises a small article with a button to be pushed or a pair of cylinders which are rotated one with respect to the other. In each case, the pushing of the button or the amount of rotation is a form of manipulation done by the user to indicate the amount of calories or carbohydrates which he has consumed. In one case, tiny balls are dropped into a flexible figurine; in another case, drops of liquid are dropped into a figurine; and in a third case the figurine or manikin is gradually filled with color each time there is a manipulation of the device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of a device constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a median sectional view of the same;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to that of FIG. 2 but showing the device after the manikin or figurine has become filled with balls;

FIG. 3A is a fragmentary sectional view of a portion of FIG. 3 on a greatly enlarged scale;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of a modified form of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a median sectional view of the same but showing the structure from the rear thereof;

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of still another form of the invention; and

FIG. 7 is a median sectional view through the structure of FIG. 6.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 through 3a illustrate a form of the invention in which the user feeds balls to a small manikin or figurine, each ball having a significance equivalent to a certain amount of dietary unit such as calories, carbohydrates, sodium, purine, cholesterol, etc. The more balls are fed to the figurine, the more the same becomes engorged.

The device of FIGS. 1 through 3a is designated generally by the reference character 10, and the same comprises generally two parts, an upper part 12 which may be referred to as a ball dispenser, and a lower part 14 which may be referred to as a manikin or figurine holder. The two parts are joined by suitable means, such as for example a screw-threaded joint 16. The figurine holder 14 comprises an outer shell 18 of transparent plastic, preferably, and a shoulder 30 is formed on the upper end thereof, this being annular to engage a suitable washer 22 that has a central opening 24,. The figurine 26 is molded from a suitable flexible and elastic plastic material and preferably is also transparent, or at least translucent. It can be of any suitable subject matter such as, for example, the male or female adult figure. It is hollow to provide an interior pocket 28 that is closed except for an opening at the top end thereof at 30. During the molding, a flange 32 is formed surrounding this upper end which is for the purpose of locking the manikin or figurine in position.

The figurine 26 is freely suspended within the chamber 34 formed by the shell 18 so that there is plenty of space for expansion thereof.

The ball dispenser 12 is comprised of a block 36 of plastic having a bottom end face 38 which is forced to engage the flange 32 when the two parts 12 and 14 are joined, thereby tightly sandwiching the said flange 32 between the parts and holding the figurine in position. There is an upper ball chamber 40 formed in the part 12 and it has a lower floor 42 that slopes toward a ball feed passageway 44 that extends downward at an angle to the axis of the device (considering the device to be erect as shown in the views). The lower portion 44' of the passageway 44 is not used, but may be required in order properly to manufacture the upper part 12.

There is an axial passageway 46 in the block 36 that is aligned with the opening 30 of the figurine 26 so that any balls which enter the passageway 44 may be directed to pass into the axial passageway 46 and thence will fall down into the hollow or pocket of the manikin or figurine 26. The ball chamber 40 is filled with small balls 41 of uniform size, such as buckshot or bbs and there is a cap 48 which covers the same.

A laterally arranged stop member 50 has its end normally blocking the passing of balls into the axial passageway 46. The

end of the stop member is rounded as shown at 52 and it has an enlarged head 54 provided with an annular groove 56. The block has a socket 58 into which the head 54 slidably engages. As seen, when the head 54 is seated at the bottom of the socket 58, the stop member 50 is at its extreme left-hand position, as shown in FIG. 2, blocking the passage of balls into the axial passageway 46. This position of the stop member 50 is maintained by reason of the leaf spring 60 secured to the upper part 12 by a small rivet 62 engaging in an elongate slot 64 permitting axial sliding of the leaf spring. The head 66 of the spring 60 engages the portion of the head 54 of the stop member 50 that protrudes outwardly of the block 36 as shown and normally holds the same in the position shown in FIG. 2. It will be noted that the entire spring 60 is mounted in an external groove 68 which enables the spring to be positioned properly and yet be permitted sliding movement.

There is a central plunger 70 which is connected to a button 72 having a flanged bottom end 74 and is urged upwards by the helical spring 76 surrounding the plunger 70 where it passes through the ball chamber 40. The lower end of the plunger is arranged telescopically to engage in a central passageway 78 formed in the block 36 in alignment with the axial passageway 46.

When a ball 41 is in the passageway 46 at the position 41' shown in FIG. 2, it will not drop into the manikin pocket 28 because such movement is blocked by the rounded end 52 of the stop member 50. If, however, the plunger 70 is depressed by pressing down on the button 72, the ball 41' will be forced past the rounded end 52 and will drop into the passageway 46 and thence into the figurine pocket 28. The pressure upon said rounded end 52 moves the stop member 50 to the right as viewed in FIG. 3 against the head 66 of the spring 60 causing the spring 60 to flex outward. The plunger 70 itself will block the passageway 44 so that only one ball will fall into the passageway 46.

The user is instructed by the instructions of the equivalent dietary significance of each ball. He carries the device in his pocket. Each time that the user eats something, he presses the plunger the proper number of times to cause a certain number of the balls 41 to drop into the pocket 28. There may be indicia on the figurine 26 in the form of colored or contrasting lines 80 so that the user may measure at a glance the level of the balls within the pocket 28 of the figurine. When'the normal amount of food is consumed by the user, the figurine 26 will be filled above the indicia line 80' adjacent the top thereof. Further consumption of food accompanied by the operation of the button 72 will commence to drop approximately five extra balls 41 into passageway 46 as seen in FIG. 3. Any further operation of button 72 will cause the figurine to expand and become engorged, giving the appearance of an obese person. Thus the user is provided, not only with a calorie or carbohydrate reminder, but as well with a psychological demonstration of the evils of eating too much.

In order to cause the balls 41 to return from the pocket 28 to the chamber 40, the user pushes the plunger 70 downward by depressing the button 72, and this will push the plunger 70 into the position shown in FIG. 3, where the stop member 50 is moved to the right its maximum extent. Under these conditions, a small tang 82 formed on the spring 60 is aligned with the groove 56. If now the spring 60 is slid downward so that this tang 82 is engaged in the groove 56, the stop member will be fixed in that position and cannot assume the position shown in FIG. 2. Under such circumstances, the device may be inverted and shaken so that the inertia of the balls 41 in the pocket push the plunger 70 back to its normal position. The spring 76 may be strong enough to do this, even without the shaking. Since the passageways 46 and 44 are now clear, all of the balls will empty into the chamber 40 which is inverted.

After the pocket 28 is empty and all of the balls 41 are in the chamber 40, the spring 60 is pushed back to its normal position, with the tang 82 out of the groove 56, and the spring 60 will now return the stop member 50 to its normal blocking condition, and the device may be placed erect without loss of balls.

Inviting attention now to FIGS. 4 and 5, another form of the invention is here shown embodied in the device 100.

In the device 100, the user merely rotates the base cylinder 102 with respect to a second telescoping cylinder 104 a small amount at a time, and as this occurs, a manikin in the telescoping cylinder 104 changes its color in increments. The amount of manual rotation of one cylinder relative to the other is controlled by indicia, such as a ring of numbers on the one cylinder and a mark on the other. These indicia are calibrated to represent calories or grams of carbohydrate, for example, depending upon the diet which the user is following. For a normal days manipulation, the manikin will appear to fill up with color, say to the chest, and if there is any excess, the color will climb higher, assuming faithful adherence by the user to the procedure.

The upper cylinder 104 in this instance is smaller than the lower and is hollow. The transparent manikin 106 is applied to the front wall of the cylinder 104 on an opaque background 108. The end cap 110 which is cemented in place when the device 100 is assembled, has a central noncylindrical post 112 which is shown as substantially square in the example. It is intended to enter and rotate within the cylindrical socket 114 formed in a hollow tube 116 integral with the base 118 of the lower cylinder 102. The socket and lower cylinder 102 are coaxial, and there is provided therein an annular cylindrical space or chamber 120 between the tube 116 and the outer wall of the cylinder 102.

Adjacent the upper end of the cylinder 102 on the interior thereof is provided a'very fine thread 122 which is engaged with a mating thread 124 formed on the lower end of the cylinder 104. The exterior surface of the tube 116 has a course thread 126 formed substantially along its length. Another tubular member 128 has its interior threaded at 130 to match the coarse thread 126. The lower end of the tubular member 128 is open, but its upper end has an end wall 132 provided with a square opening 134 therein. This opening slidably engages upon the lower end 136 of the post 112. The direction of coarse thread 126 is opposite that of fine thread 122, i.e., one is a right-hand thread and the other is a left-hand thread, such that the linear translations of these two threads are additive. As cylinder 104 is drawn toward cylinder 102, tubular member 128 will be expelled from cylinder 102.

From the above-described structure, it can be seen that for each rotational movement of the upper and lower cylinders with respect to one another, the outer parts will telescope at a very slow rate compared with the amount of movement of the tubular member 128 with respect to the post 112. Accordingly, the movement of the tubular member 128 may be such that the entire available distance upon the post has been occupied without substantially coloring the feet of the manikin.

The edge 138 may have numbers representing calories or grams, to cooperate with a suitable mark 140 on the upper cylinder so that the user knows how much to turn the one with respect to the other for a representation of the calories or carbohydrates consumed, or to indicate other dietary data such as sodium, cholesterol or purine intake. The lower cylinder 102 may be opaque and have information printed or marked thereon as shown at 144 giving instructions to the user. The entire device may be made of plastic, with the tubular member 128 being some contrasting color such as red so that as the cylinders are rotated with respect to one another the manikin will appear to be filling with color. In FIG. 4, for example, the cylinders have been rotated with respect to one another so that the manikin has been colored up to his hips as shown at 150.

In FIGS. 6 and 7, still another form of the invention is shown, designated as 200. In this instance, the manikin 202 is a hollow tubular member quite similar to that of the structure 10. In this instance, however, the manikin, while transparent, is intended to hold colored liquid which is fed to the same, little by little. There is an upper cylinder 204 and a lower telescoping cylinder 206. The cap 208 of the upper cylinder 204 has a depending member 210 to which is secured a piston or plunger 212 of some elastomeric material. The piston 212 is adapted to express liquid 214 contained in a receptacle 216 through a minute opening 218. The interior of the upper cylinder 204 is threaded at 220 to cooperate with the exterior thread provided on the outside of the receptacle 216. The receptacle 216 is integral with the lower cylinder 206. There is a plug 222 on the interior of the cylinder 206 which divides the hollow interior into a chamber 224 which carries the manikin 202 and an air chamber 226. The top of the manikin 202 is open at 228 and surrounded by a flange 230 which is cemented into the plug 222.

In operation, the user rotates the upper cylinder 204 with respect to the lower cylinder 206, using a marked ring with suitable indicia (not shown) to gauge the amount of rotation. Each increment of rotation will express some of the colored fluid 214 through the opening 218 into the air chamber 226 from whence it will flow into the manikin 202. The manikin is preferably transparent or translucent so that the user can see how much of the figurine has been filled with the fluid. The plastic from which the manikin is made may be somewhat soft so that there is distortion when it gets quite full, for the psychological purposes described above.

Variations are capable of being made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

What it is desired to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A diet control apparatus adapted to be carried by a user and manipulated incrementally by the user each time an equivalent incremental amount of diet material is consumed, said apparatus comprising:

A. portable support means having a transparent manikin associated therewith,

B. means for changing the interior appearance of said manikin in a gradual, visible manner from first to second contrasting aspects, and

C. operating means capable of being manipulated incrementally by the user to operate said changing means, said operating means being reversible, whereby the user may manipulate said operating means throughout a given period of time for each incremental amount of diet material consumed and leave a continuous visual indication of relative amount consumed compared to amount required totally to change the interior appearance of said manikin from first to second aspects, and may reverse the operating means when desired to change the interior appearance from at least partially second to first aspects.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said means for changing the interior appearance of said manikin comprise a plurality of uniformly sized balls, said support means including a ball dispenser and a manikin holder secured to said ball dispenser, the manikin being freely suspended within said holder and having an opening to said ball dispenser.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2 in which said ball dispenser comprises a ball chamber for holding said balls, a passageway leading axially from said chamber to the opening in said manikin, said chamber having a sloped floor terminating at said passageway, and stop means provided in said passageway to prevent balls from falling into said manikin except upon operation of said apparatus.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3 in which said stop means comprise a stop member laterally arranged in said passageway, said stop member having an end normally blocking passing of said balls.

5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 in which said operating means comprise a plunger centrally arranged in said ball dispenser coaxial with said passageway for telescopic engagement in said passageway whereby when said plunger is depressed it will force one ball at a time past said stop member to drop into said manikin.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 in which said stop means include a spring member mounted external of said ball dispenser, said spring member and stop member having cooperating means to retain said stop member m unblockmg condition of said passageway to permit said balls to be returned to said ball dispenser from said manikin.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6 in which said cooperating means comprise a groove in said stop member and a tang on said spring member.

8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said support means comprise a first cylinder and a second cylinder telescopically arranged in said first cylinder.

9. Apparatus as claimed in .claim 8 in which said second cylinder has said manikin applied to the wall thereof with the opposite portion of said cylinder wall being opaque, a central noncylindrical post arranged within said second cylinder, a threaded tubular member of color contrasting with that of said opaque wall disposed within said first cylinder and having an opening in mating engagement with said post whereby when said cylinders are rotated one relative the other, said tubular member will move behind the manikin to color the same.

i 10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 8 in which said first cylinder has a fluid chamber with means for expressing fluid therefrom, said second cylinder having said manikin suspended therein, the manikin having an opening to said fluid chamber whereby upon rotation of said cylinders one relative the other, said fluid will be expressed into said manikin.

11. Apparatus as claimed in claim 10 in which said means for expressing fluid comprise a piston and said fluid chamber opens to an air chamber.

12. A diet control apparatus comprising, a base cylinder, said base cylinder having a transparent manikin of predetermined volume carried therein and visible therethrough, a second cylinder connected to said first cylinder, meter-indicating means operative from said second cylinder for moving media into said manikin to change the appearance thereof from normal to abnormal, said meter-indicating means being capable of selective operation incrementally for gradual change of the manikin appearance, said meter-indicating means being reversible to return the appearance of said manikin to normal.

13. Apparatus as claimed in claim 12 in which said manikin is hollow and said media is adapted for insertion into said manikin.

14. Apparatus as claimed in claim 13 in which said media is a plurality of balls.

15. Apparatus as claimed in claim 13 in which said media is a fluid.

16. Apparatus as claimed in claim 12 in which said manikin comprises a transparent form on the wall of said base cylinder and said media is a colored tubular member adapted for movement behind said manikin.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US179922 *Jun 10, 1876Jul 18, 1876 Improvement in registering apparatus
US715460 *Oct 28, 1901Dec 9, 1902John M DalyGravity computing-machine.
US715461 *May 12, 1902Dec 9, 1902John M DalyComputing-machine.
US1568272 *Nov 24, 1923Jan 5, 1926 diago
US2667001 *Aug 10, 1951Jan 26, 1954Sheridan Joseph JAdvertising display device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4248172 *Aug 20, 1979Feb 3, 1981_AGFA-Gevaert, A.G.Film cassette
US5390629 *Dec 13, 1993Feb 21, 1995Simone; JamesPet toy
US5448615 *Aug 30, 1994Sep 5, 1995Eastman Kodak CompanyFilm cassette
US5971762 *Feb 8, 1999Oct 26, 1999Mckenna; Paul A.Bead-based drop art book
US7898407Mar 27, 2008Mar 1, 2011Toronto Rehabilitation InstituteHand hygiene compliance system
US8237558Sep 29, 2009Aug 7, 2012University Health NetworkHand hygiene compliance system
U.S. Classification116/215, 235/123, 116/200, 446/73, 141/94, 40/406, 604/909, 221/2
International ClassificationA61F5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61F5/0006
European ClassificationA61F5/00B2