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Big Mother Is Watching 533

theodp writes "Newsweek reports that high-schoolers are being denied the joy of ordering unhealthy lunches thanks to their schools' adoption of services like MealpayPlus. New web-based services allow moms to prepay for cafeteria food, specify what their kid can and can't buy, and go online to track his purchases." From the article: "If the child tries to buy a prohibited item, an alert flashes on the cashier's computer. Of course, the system isn't foolproof. According to a KRC Research survey, 73 percent of 8- to 12-year-olds are throwing out part of their lunches at least once a week; 36 percent are trading them." All I ever got was PB&J.
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Big Mother Is Watching

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  • Pathetic. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Andrew Kismet ( 955764 ) on Monday July 31, 2006 @04:10AM (#15815595)
    I'm 18, so my experience with school cafeterias is still fresh in my memory. I can tell you this: almost every 12-16 year old likes at least one kind of fast food. AND? Fast food means burgers, pizza, and chips, right?
    You can't stop them from eating it. They love the stuff. Hell, I know I like it.
    The fact is, if your food is COOKED PROPERLY you can get most of the grease and fat OUT of said dishes. You can also reduce the portion, and serve it with healthy food - even INSIDE it. Tomato slices are definitely healthy, and make a great garnish to burgers.
    I can't name many situations in which direct "bans" like this should be used, or even work. The article even points out how flawed this system is.
    We should be controlling the actual food they eat - not preventing them from eating specific things. Kids just won't eat "health" food unless you bring them up that way from day one. And even then, once they hit 13 they're likely to turn against their upbringing.
    It's easier for both them and you if you improve the quality of the food they eat in schools rather than limiting their options.
    If my mother had done this to me, I'd have shouted at her until she stopped it, or never paid a penny on school lunches again.
    (Yes, I'm a brat. Deal with it.)
  • Peer Pressure (Score:2, Informative)

    by corychristison ( 951993 ) on Monday July 31, 2006 @04:23AM (#15815648)
    Disclaimer: I am 17 years of age and have just recently finished my grade 12.

    First off, I would like to say that I enjoy the (mis)use of technology to help students in what they eat. However, this is not going to stop them. I am definately not fat or over weight, and I try to eat healthy as often as I can. I cook my own meals, so sometimes I like to relax and just grab a burger... but only once in a while! Although, I am not the greatest role model, as I do sit around on the computer a little too much. ;-)

    My younger brother is just entering high school this up-coming year. I hate to admit it, but he seriously needs help in controlling his weight. He weighs much more than I do, and I am very concerned for him. He's an absolute genius in his school work, and he's also very into computers/animation. He's really into Flash Animation, so he sits around a lot. This up-coming year I am going to make sure he get's into a sports team of some sort, but I know that alone wont be enough.

    I hate to say it, but right here is wheer Peer Pressure can do some good. These kids need to eat healthier, why not start with the children that do? Have them weasel their way into these kids minds and help show them the way! We need not restrict them, but try to show them that healthier food leads to a healthier lifestyle.
    Threats and restriction only lead to uprisings... expect them. ;-)
  • Re:Bullshit (Score:3, Informative)

    by dave_mcmillen ( 250780 ) * on Monday July 31, 2006 @10:06AM (#15816896)
    For starters, for a large portion of the human history (in fact, for _the_ largest portion), the average life expectancy was in the 30 to 40 years range. Yes, literally. The life expectancy in ancient Egypt for example was in the low 30's. In the European middle ages and renaissance it wasn't much better, since they had very high mortality. In fact, all medieval cities had such high mortality (because of being filthy disease-ridden places) that they needed a constant influx of peasants moving in just to maintain their size. So, again, the average person would have a really really shitty life expectancy.

    Getting more and more off-topic, here, but . . . This thing about 30-40 years is a misunderstanding based on the meaning of "life expectancy". It's literally the mean, or expected value, so it counts the age of every person, adds them up, and divides by the number. It thus counts a whole lot of people whose age at death is zero, one, or two years: in other words, high infant mortality pulls down the life expectancy very quickly. If you ask, instead, what's the conditional expected age at death, given that you live to be at least five (or something), the numbers shoot way up. Plenty of people in the olden days would have survived into their fifties, sixties, or seventies. The high end of the distribution has spread upwards, too, but the mean being so low does not mean that most people dropped dead in the their mid-thirties. A lot of the gain in life expectancy has come from reducing infant mortality.

    Sorry, a bit of a pet peeve of mine.

    But in any case, you're right, the incubation time to create a functional adult humans was probably a lot shorter, back then.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault