Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. To address that issue, I made Obesity Warning Doll that teaches children about complications related to unhealthy eating. Childhood obesity in fact can adversely affect nearly every organ system, but I chose to high-light most common organs that can be damaged by the condition.
I experimented with different fabrics (cotton, jersey, felt and sheer), stocking was the best option in illustrating body fat and diffusing LED lights. I have to say… Stocking was the hardest textile I’ve ever worked with because it is not meant to be cut and sew into different shapes. At the first attempt, the organs were realistic size to its body, but they turned out to be ineffective when stuffed inside of the body.
So, I made organs bigger with different different colored felt. Connecting LEDs in parallel was a lot harder than imagined. I chose two different voltage LEDs, so when I connected them in parallel all together, the lower voltage ones turned on and the other voltage ones didn’t work. Lesson learned by failing… electricity flows through efficient route. ( Its super IMPORTANT to know voltage and amps of your LEDs!)
To solve that problem, I made two circuits. After sewing together all the openings in each organs I realized the positive and negative ends were touching each other in some organs causing the entire circuit NOT WORKING… So I reopened all the organs and covered the bare wires with electrical tape.
Then, I ran into another problem where I had to deal with two switch system… I wanted to turn all the LEDs together, so I connectd two separate circuits together and made into one conductive switch using conductive thread.
I made sure that the wire and thread connects nicely, and used the thread to make the doll’s lip and eyes.
I imagine the doll to be used by school nurses to teach middle school students the danger of obesity and related complications on organs. It also can be placed at school cafeterias or on a kitchen refrigerator at home to remind healthy eating. When the doll put the McDonald’s flies into its mouth, the organs will light up to inform the viewers organs at risk.