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Fit Friday: Cafeteria cams measure kids' calories
May 13th, 2011
10:19 AM ET

Fit Friday: Cafeteria cams measure kids' calories

Kids often toss the apple from their lunch trays and dive straight into the cookies.

But, now cafeteria cameras can track what they’re really eating.

Health officials are using a $2 million federal grant to install cameras that will track eating habits at five San Antonio, Texas elementary schools.  The camera program will analyze the food on the trays for kids whose parents give permission. Parents can get reports about what their kids ate in school. The cameras will record what the students put on their lunch tray.  A computer program analyzes the food to calculate the amount of food and calories.  Then it will also take an image of the students’ trays when they are done – this will enable calculation of the nutrition that the children consumed.

"Let the picture tell us a thousand words about what they're eating,"  Dr. Roger Echon, who helped develop the initial computer program, told CNN affiliate KSAT.

This could help officials measure the nutrition children are getting to better develop programs to prevent obesity and diabetes, San Antonio school and health officials told KSAT.

Sound off below: Should we track what children eat to get a better sense of their overall nutrition, or is this nanny state gone amuck?


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.