In one American school, finding out how many calories children consume at mealtime is becoming a high caloric reality. Cameras linked to computers will photograph it all, revealing the poly-unsaturated truth via digital imaging analysis. The cameras will also capture which foods the children do not finish and leave on their plates. The end result is a realistic caloric accounting for each student.
The idea is new and funded by a US Department of Agriculture grant. Five elementary schools will take part in this experiment and all are located in San Antonio, Texas. The researchers deliberately picked schools in poorer areas with high at-risk obesity rates. Parents had to sign consent forms so that their children could participate. The technology is so advanced that it can identify any food left on a luncheon tray. It works via a very sophisticated and unique bar code that is assigned to each child.
The hope is that not only the children but also their parents will alter their eating habits as a result of this experiment. The data is also able to analyze which foods children are more likely to choose and how much of it they are eating.
A camera takes a picture of each luncheon tray but never of the children and regular reports will be issued to the parents about what their children are eating. Another camera is at work in the school kitchen after the children return their plates, photographing whatever food has been left uneaten on the tray.
Children may well learn how to eat better much earlier in their lives. It would appear that Big Brother is definitely watching over all of us and breathing quite heavily. In this case, his presence is benign and his size a mere coincidence.