Forget mini cupcakes and runny egg-yolk porn. These images may be all over your Instagram feed, but chances are you don’t log on to your Twitter account in search of the perfect kale salad or açai bowl. It’s just not that kind of platform. Then again, a good deal of information can be gleaned from the content of food- and drink-based tweets out there.
A new study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research Public Health and Surveillance — and found via Time — looked at around 80 million tweets as a way of learning about people’s health in neighborhoods across the United States. Tweets regarding physical activity and happiness were also included in the survey.
So just which consumables is the country most musing about in 140-character increments? You might be surprised to hear that coffee takes the top spot in a landslide, followed by beer, pizza, wine, chicken, BBQ, ice cream and tacos. A humorous anecdote from the study involves the researchers noting the incredible popularity of curry before realizing that users were almost always talking about NBA star Stephen Curry.
Starbucks ranked as the most talked-about chain on Twitter. Chipotle, Taco Bell and Buffalo Wild Wings were the next three on the list. While the popular dish and chain findings might point toward Americans’ proclivity for junk food, the study actually revealed that 16 percent of the total tweets were about “healthy foods,” while only 9 percent mentioned “fast food.”
It’s worth noting that poorer neighborhoods were less likely to mention healthy foods and areas with more healthy-food tweets had fewer deaths and lower rates of chronic disease. Could it be that Twitter confirmed that dietary choices can have an impact on our health?