I'm a pretty paraoid, cynical type. I don't use a "Price Chopper Advantage Card," and I make grocery purchases with cash so there's no record of my food shopping habits. I do this because I think there is at least some possibility that the government could start monitoring food purchases.
When I tell people this, they usually act like I'm crazy, but (a) with current technology, it would be relatively easy to do and (b) there is an incentive to monitor diet and exercise if the government becomes the main provider/payer for health care services. Buy a lot of steak and Ding-Dongs? Maybe you should pay higher taxes to help off-set the costs of your future impending heart attack, they will say.
If you think this rationale for the government is crazy, consider whether insurance companies would adjust premiums based on diet if they could get access to that information. Sure, they would. And if the government becomes the single payer?
I always thought that food monitoring would start in the food distribution system if at all. But I was wrong.
Unbeknownst to me, food monitoring has already started, and it happened in pre-school. That makes sense--start with the children. Help the children.
Yes, apparently, DHHS requires that pre-school lunches be monitored to meet standards set by the USDA (standards include a serving of grain, of course). If the lunches don't, the children are forced to buy the prepared school lunch. Crazy.
I became aware of this situation from the case of a girl who ate chicken nuggets in place of a turkey sandwich and fruit due a bone-headed food bureaucrat. Article here. H/t JD.
A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.
The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs - including in-home day care centers - to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.
When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.