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Top 10 Most Popular Foods On Twitter Shed Light On Health

Update Date: Oct 18, 2016 11:17 AM EDT

A new study has shown that the 140-character tweets posted on Twitter can reveal a great deal about the health of Americans.

The study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research Public Health and Surveillance looked at 80 million geotagged tweets from more than 603,000 Twitter users across the United States and found that the most tweeted and popular food is coffee. Beer listed second to grab the top 10 most popular foods on Twitter. 

Here's the complete top 10 list:

1. coffee

2. beer

3. pizza

4. Starbucks

5. IPA(beer)

6. wine

7. chicken

8. barbecue

9. ice cream

10. tacos

Although only 5 percent of the analyzed tweets mentioned food, the results hinted on the health of Americans who shared what they eat on social media. This was done by comparing geological tweets to health surveys and census data, which helped the researchers learn about the health of the populace in those regions of U.S.

Out of the collected tweets, the researchers found that 16 percent mentioned were healthy foods, whereas 9 percent were about fast foods.The study also found that tweets from poorer neighborhoods did not mention healthy foods while areas with tweets about healthy food were found to have lower death rates and chronic disease.

Apart from food, the team also designed algorithms to determine exercise mentions and emotions as well, although they weren't perfect.

"Access to neighborhood data," the researchers wrote, "can be leveraged to better understand neighborhood effects and address social determinants of health. We found that neighborhoods with social and economic disadvantage, high urbanicity, and more fast food restaurants may exhibit lower happiness and fewer healthy behaviors."

Study author Quynh Nguyen believes that with more refinements, social media posts like Twitter can be a source of untapped health insights.

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