Twitter analysis: What Food Does Your State Love?

Idaho loves spuds, Texas loves brisket and, perhaps most surprising, Oklahoma is obsessed with the pickle?

These were just some of the results of a recent analysis of food-related language on Twitter, conducted by a cross-disciplinary team at the University of Arizona. The team combed through 3.5 million food-hashtagged tweets pulled from Twitter’s API between October 2013 and May 2014, the team identified distinctive food words for each state. They also uncovered regional differences in the popularity of #breakfast, #brunch, #lunch, and #dinner. The midwest loves #breakfast apparently.

mmmm….breakfast.

“The main idea is to introduce social media into public health, We’re still thinking about what the best intervention is.”

Twitter isn’t a perfect window into the nation’s diet, but the team was able to track some aspects quite well.

The final goal is to relate on the personal level, identifying specific people at health risk based on their tweets. Tweet too much about bacon, and you might find the American Heart Association rolling into your mention with a warning. “The main idea is to introduce social media into public health,” says Surdenau. “We’re still thinking about what the best intervention is.”

What food does your state love? (We are from Ohio – so we love pastry and Breakfast apparently. So that explains my craving for pancakes!)

Source: ANALYZING THE LANGUAGE OF FOOD ON SOCIAL MEDIA (PDF)

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