A new $2 million project in San Antonio, Texas will see high-tech cameras installed in school cafeterias that will take photographs of the food children put on their lunch trays, and what they don’t finish eating. The lunch trays each also have a unique bar code attached to them to track eating activity.
Funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, the project will use digital imaging technology to analyse the before and after lunch photographs, identifying what food children ate, calculating a child’s calorie intake and the nutrients in their meal.The one redeeming detail is that parents can decide whether their kids will participate. At least this isn't mandatory. At the same time, it is a clumsy response to a problem. For one thing, cafeteria food is less healthy than fast food at Burger King. If parents are (rightly) concerned about keeping their kids healthy, they are probably better off making them lunch at home (provided that schools continue to allow it).