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A digital camera could be programmed with a database of foods (based on what they look like, of course). The eater would photograph the plate of food from above, and Calo-Scanner would identify foods, estimate quantities, maybe ask a few questions to fix the data, and then create a calorie tally.
and companies could help out by providing images of their dishes, and pre-calculate the caloric content. People would eat a little less, and take more food home for later.
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||Yep. Even if the camera could cross-reference a picture with thousands of possibilities (how many white rice dishes are there? A LOT!), not all dishes look the same. No 2 dishes of chow mein look or are the same, blowing this out of the water. An estimated amount doesn't help when eating food prepared by a unique person. This could be somewhat done if you sent all your meals to a lab in advance for analysis before eating, but not many people could afford it or would want to do it. Maybe Katie Holmes?