December 1, 2022

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Health Care

Share of tweets about healthy foods increased by 20% during

From May 2020 to January 2021, the share of tweets about balanced food items elevated by 20 per cent when compared to pre-pandemic estimates, while rapid-food items and alcoholic beverages tweets decreased by 9 per cent and 11 %, respectively.

Much more salad and apples, a lot less McDonalds and KFC.

All those are just a pair of the nutritional changes that individuals appeared to make all through the initially yr of the pandemic, according to a new study led by College of General public Overall health researchers.

The prevalent lockdowns and restaurant closures of 2020 significantly altered daily routines and adjusted how persons accessed food and alcohol, but an assessment of tweets in the course of COVID-19 counsel that some folks could have preferred to forego the baking frenzy and embrace much healthier having behavior-relying on their neighborhood surroundings.

Published on the web forward of print in the Mobile Press journal Patterns, the examine compared tweets about balanced foods, rapidly foods, and alcohol in advance of and during the pandemic, and observed that the share of tweets about wholesome meals greater by 20.5 percent all through the pandemic, while the share of tweets about quickly food stuff and alcoholic beverages diminished by 9.4 percent and 11.4 per cent, respectively.

The results also drew associations concerning balanced conduct and proximity to grocery shops or liquor shops among all those who were being ready to stay household more for the duration of COVID-19 folks who spent a lot more time at home and lived in neighborhoods with much more grocery stores per capita also tweeted additional about balanced food items and tweeted a lot less about quick foodstuff and alcoholic beverages in the course of the pandemic than they did ahead of the pandemic. Notably, the scientists located that persons residing in locations with much more liquor suppliers for every capita were additional likely to tweet about alcoholic beverages.


Our conclusions give insight into the impression of public overall health interventions on foods and liquor use all through the pandemic, and enhance the notion that when it will come to influencing health and fitness behaviors, one’s constructed atmosphere matters.”


Mark Hernandez (SPH’21), review corresponding writer and SPH alum, data scientist and researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory


Percentage of food-similar tweets about healthier food, quick foods, and alcohol prior to the pandemic (May well 2019 to January 2020) and through the pandemic (May well 2020 to January 2021).

For the examine, Hernandez and colleagues examined geotagged, community tweets in the United States that mentioned healthful foodstuff, rapid food stuff, and alcoholic beverages in advance of the pandemic (May well 2019 to January 2020) and all through the pandemic (May possibly 2020 to January 2021). The researchers connected the geotagged tweets to US counties to take a look at the marriage amongst community properties and improvements in having and drinking behavior, and they received info from Google’s COVID-19 Group Mobility Stories to comprehend where by people ended up able to invest a lot more time at property.

This examination of tweets delivers a extra precise and sensible being familiar with of opportunity improvements in food items intake through COVID-19, filling in gaps from prior investigation which has relied principally on traditional survey information that is susceptible to biased self-experiences. Social media facts, on the other hand, give an prospect for a purely natural observation of voluntary facts about the public’s attitudes and behaviors.

“Twitter delivers a window into peoples’ working day-to-day attitudes and behaviors that surveys may possibly battle to capture,” says research coauthor Nina Cesare, postdoctoral associate at SPH’s Biostatistics and Epidemiology Details Analytics Centre (BEDAC). “In the context of diet program, foods diaries and self-claimed having routines are notoriously prone to reaction bias. Unsolicited stories of food items intake on Twitter may possibly extra properly replicate food preferences and routines.”

Nutritious food stuff tweets elevated in all 50 states and Washington, DC, except for Massachusetts and Montana, the place tweets about healthy food items lowered by 9.3 % and 3.4 p.c, respectively. The largest increases in healthy tweets have been in Wyoming (up 62.1 percent), Vermont (up 57.4 p.c), and Washington (up 46.5 %), when the premier decreases in quick-food tweets transpired in Rhode Island (down 69.4 per cent) and Wyoming (down 68 percent). Tweets about alcohol lessened the most in Alaska (down 39.7 per cent), Hawaii (down 38.7 p.c), and Vermont (down 37.6 percent). The share of alcoholic beverages tweets rose in only 6 states, with the highest maximize in South Dakota (up 30.6 %).

In addition to “salad” and “apples,” other often tweeted wholesome meals phrases throughout the pandemic incorporated “hen,” “corn,” “eggs,” and “peanut butter.” In addition to “McDonalds” and “tequila,” frequent speedy-food items and alcoholic beverages phrases ended up “Taco Bell,” “Starbucks,” “Chick-Fil-A,” “KFC,” “Chipotle,” “beer,” “wine,” “vodka,” and “mimosas.”

The conclusions spotlight the need to have for procedures that improve accessibility to healthier foodstuff options, notably in areas that lack grocery stores, the researchers say.

“Procedures could support incentivize new grocers to open up and inventory affordable, new foods, or aim on investing in neighborhood meals economies and bolstering food stuff entry plans,” Hernandez states. “They could also advertise situations exactly where necessary staff have more time and means to accessibility and get ready wholesome food items.”

Elaine Nsoesie, analyze senior creator and assistant professor of world-wide overall health at BUSPH, suggests these observations gleaned from the electronic entire world and the genuine-world developed environment are hanging.

“Our details help the known associations among the social determinants of health and fitness and overall health outcomes,” Nsoesie suggests. “These outcomes also reinforce the will need to shift the narrative around wellness behaviors from blaming individuals and communities to the guidelines and buildings that make bad well being.”

At SPH, the review was also coauthored by Shagun Modi, research assistant and an MPH college student at the time of the research and Kanisha Mittal, statistical programmer at BEDAC and an MPH pupil at the time of the review. Quynh Nguyen, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the College of Maryland School of Public Wellbeing, was also a coauthor.


Boston College College of Public Wellbeing

Journal reference:

Hernandez, M.A., et al. (2022) Eating plan in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic: An evaluation of Twitter details. Patterns.