Yes, You're Being Tracked -- By That Mannequin Over There

Don't know about you but I'm getting pretty sick of all the weight loss ads tracking me wherever I go on the Web. I know it's probably because I have a Weight Watchers account but enough already.

And now when I go to a store, according to, I can look forward to "in-store system(s) that sp(y) on our eye movements and immediately flash advertisements at us on nearby screens, corresponding to what we’ve just been looking at, the BBC reports."

I may never go shopping again.

If that isn't spooky enough, Rose Eveleth at the same site reports that researchers are currently working on algorithms that factor in "things like the floor plan of the area and a behavioral model that predicts where people are likely to move."  And where are these eyes?  In mannequins.

Fortunately, both apps are still about five years away.  But with cameras everywhere, it's only a matter of time before department stores and Web sites know when you sleep, how much you sleep, and how to get you to come shopping when you can't sleep.

I suppose the idea of targeted ads is a good one. But like everything else, it seems like it's going a little too far.

And speaking of weight, did you know that 13% of the calories we consume come from added sugars? Nancy Hellmich at USA Today writes that the good news is hat we are consuming less than previous years, but it's still too much. The sugars the study talks about are from things like regular soda and cake, but did you know there's a ton of sugar in ketchup and other processed foods?

To put it even more starkly, Hellmich adds that men get 335 calories a day from added sugar, while women don't get that many fewer, at 239.  It all comes in processed and prepared foods.

A recent study found that about 67% of added sugars come from food while 33% come from beverages, according to Hellmich. Theseingredients come under different names like corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, nectars, and sucrose, but they're still sugar.

Hellmich interviewed the study's lead author Bethene Ervin, a nutritional epidemiologist with the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who said, ""These results may underestimate the actual sugar intake because people may add sugar to cereal in the morning and to beverages such as coffee and tea."

So think about that the next time you think you're eating healthy and slather your salad with dressing (lots of sugar).


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