Your Tax Dollars At Work Dept: The National Science Foundation has given a $175,000 grant to Purdue University for an experimental program to take pictures of food before obese people eat it. The proposal is to use “imaging-based techniques to investigate the link between eating environment and dietary quality and satisfaction” to see if the data can be used to reduce obesity and chronic disease due to bad eating habits. Or to put it even more confusingly:
“The project plans to build informative models of behavioral health profiles that can take advantage of a large set of observed data, including food images and contextual information that the PI has access to. The team will develop computational methods that leverage the use of contextual information for image-based dietary data which is highly individualized, temporal, and contextualized.”
That’s a lot of four-dollar words to swallow. You can argue whether this project makes any sense or not, but to me, the big issue is with spending $175,000 of our tax money to take photos of people’s meals before they eat them. There’s already a collection of tens of millions of such photos they could study for free. It’s called “Facebook.”
Image Note: The image is from 2004.
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