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January 27th, 2012
Big Brother Is Now Your Diet Coach

A new federal effort called SuperTracker may sound like a program to keep extremely close tabs on suspected terrorists or other enemies of the state, but it isn’t—unless those enemies also happen to be healthy-minded consumers intent on dropping a few pounds.

A product of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP ), SuperTracker is an online tool located at choosemyplate.gov that helps users set and maintain dietary goals.

Create a user profile at the site, and you can track the calories you consume each day, record your daily physical activities, set weight management goals, and see how close you come to eating the USDA’s recommended daily allowance of dark green vegetables.

SuperTracker, an expanded version of previous tools called the MyPyramid Tracker and the MyPyramid Menu Planner, debuted in December 2011. In its first month, it reportedly attracted more than 700,000 registered users.

Any day now, then, we should expect to see either the end of the obesity epidemic or SuperDuperTracker, an even more intrusive and hands-on government effort to engineer our behavior. If you’re a betting man, bet on the latter.

SuperTracker offers functionality no private-sector calorie-counting program can match: It’s the only one that helps normalize the idea that the government should be monitoring your eating habits and functioning as your weight-loss coach.




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