A new way of looking at what we eat

This is a really cool visualization of the “healthiness” of food people eat over a 24 hour time period. This visualization is based on data collected from over 7 million people over five months who track what they eat using an iPhone all called Eatery. Users upload a photo of their food and it is rated by others. While the people doing the rating aren’t nutrition experts, the results are still useful. This is a concept called crowd sourcing. It turns out that feedback from multiple non-experts can approximate what you would learn from one expert. In a sense, the crowd becomes the expert. Consider the jelly bean example: one of the most accurate ways to guess the number of jellybeans in a jar is to average the guesses of everyone in the room.

Back to the visualization…Notice that people tend to eat less healthy food at night. While much of this has to do with choices we make when we are up late, it may also reflect food availability. This has implications for people who work at night. Think about the types of restaurants and stores that are open all night compared to during the day. The link between night shift work, poor diet, and health consequences was explored in an editorial in the journal PLoS Medicine.

Also take a look at the other elegant infographics on the  Massive Health website. They are a compelling way of presenting data about what we eat.

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