The National Institutes of Health funded a survey to find out which are the best-rated types of food across the United States.
A team of scientists from the University of Utah received $721,800 to create a database called ‘HashtagHealth’ that would monitor which types of food Americans usually prefer. The group collected around 80 million tweets from 603,363 users from April 2015 until March 2016.
After analyzing this information, scientists came to the conclusion that beer and coffee were the most mentioned foods on the site. The team added that this data could serve as a great tool in tracking the food habits of many local communities.
They also found out that people from low-income areas referred to foods in a more negative way compared to those living in other places. Researchers continued by saying that ‘greater numbers of fast food restaurants predicted higher frequency of fast food mentions.’
Out of all tweets, just 5 percent mentioned foods whereas other 2 percent made reference to physical activity. Scientists underlined that these findings do not reveal the dietary behavior of Americans. Instead, these tweets show what users feel comfortable to report, so some of them might have lied.
Some types of food are quite popular, and this might be a primary factor influencing people’s opinion. For instance, pancakes might get more tweets than tomatoes. Based on the team’s statistics, coffee got tweeted 250,000 times whereas beer was mentioned 200,000.
Bacon was also among the most tweeted foods with around 50,000 tweets, while salad was mentioned in approximatively 30,000 tweets. Surprisingly, ice cream and tacos received just 75,000 tweets.
At the end of the study, researchers concluded that local communities with economic and social disadvantages and more fast food restaurants had a lower happiness rate as most people had unhealthy dietary habits.
Scientists will continue their investigation to stress the importance of social media in analyzing many cultural features influencing public health across the United States.
Other experts have previously underlined that in order to improve your lifestyle, you have to adopt a healthier diet and reduce the alcohol intake. Besides unhealthy food and high alcohol intake, smoking is still a problem throughout the US.
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