Creepiness takes a new toll in Texas as children will be Panopticonically measured during their lunch sessions by having their caloric intake remotely surveilled for recording and behavior modification.

Using a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the schools in San Antonio are installing sophisticated cameras in the cafeteria line and trash area that read food bar codes embedded in the food trays.

“We’re going to snap a picture of the food tray at the cashier and we will know what has been served,” said Dr. Roberto Trevino of the San Antonio-based Social and Health Research Center, which is implementing the pilot program at five schools with high rates of childhood obesity and children living in poverty.

“When the child goes back to the disposal window, we’re going to measure the leftover.”

This is yet another wasteful example of putting money before people.

Why is the school serving food that makes children fat in the first place?  If the school menu is correctly crafted, then children will only be eating what we know is good for them and no “bad choices” can be made that would later need to be read and quantified via bar coding.  Why provide food items that can adversely affect their bodies?

Instead of measuring the aftereffects of the bad behavior with lousy food choices, we should be educating those children on how to create a proper meal and, while we have them in school, not allow them to make a bad choice by providing only good choices for them to follow as they stack a tray full of food.

It makes little sense to scan what we already know is a dreadful choice in food and then counsel the student later after the bar code for the meal has been “read” by cameras as it enters the trash bin.

Instead of spending $2 million to address an already-known problem of bad choices, that money should be proactively used to help the student realize that better food choices will result in long-term well being, and you don’t need a bar code scanner to take home that human point.

2 Comments

  1. What a waste of money. As you wrote, it would be better to only serve good food in the first place. Of course, children could eat too much of one good food and still not get enough of another but we can’t let robots take responsibility for that!

    1. Right. It makes no sense to tempt kids with bad food. If we only offer them a proper proportion, then they can’t overeat and they can’t make a wrong selection. Limit the choices. Provide the sublime. Force them learn how the right food can make them feel better.

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