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The Social and Health Research Center in San Antonio has received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to use cameras and innovative computer software to estimate children’s dietary intake.
The proposed instrument is the Digital Food Imaging Analysis technique (DFIA). The DFIA will program cameras and develop software to interface with the USDA nutrition database for nutrient analysis, in hopes of providing the most comprehensive and quantitative estimation of children’s food consumption and nutrient analysis.
The system would photograph kids’ meal trays before and after they ate. The computer system would analyze the photos to calculate exact calories eaten and values of more than 100 other nutrients.
Parents will receive the data for their children, and researchers hope eating habits at home will change once moms and dads see what their kids are choosing in school. The data also will be used to study what foods children are likely to choose and how much they’re eating, according to a Fox News Latino report.