Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I Spy Something Fat

Thanks to a new system in Houston, parents will be able to spy on their children at lunch time - online.

A student slides a tray toward the cafeteria cash register with a healthy selection: a pint of milk, green beans, whipped sweet potatoes and chicken nuggets -- baked, not fried.But then he adds a fudge brownie.

When he punches in his code for the prepaid account his parents set up, a warning sounds: "This student has a food restriction."

Back goes the brownie as the cashier reminds him that his parents have declared all desserts off-limits.

The system will cost $5.3 million. Five million bucks to track what children eat! Why doesn't the parent just ask the child what they ate and the child tell them? Why go through all the trouble and expense of an online automated system? Simple. The children don't respect their parents or their money enough to do what is right and the parents don't trust the children to tell them the truth. (What a great relationship.) So instead, we go to great lengths and spend millions trying to do what could be easily solved with a paper bag, a ham sandwich, and an apple. Leave it to the state to complicate the obvious.

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