Could a social app that is a kind of Instagram for food help save smart-phone users from their own eating habits? Users of an iPhone app called The Eatery snap photos of everything they eat, follow other users to see what they are enjoying, and rate the healthiness of one another’s meals. Now analysis of patterns in the 7.7 million ratings given to 500,000 meals is being used to plan a follow-up app that will steer people toward eating more healthfully.
Patterns found in that data show, among other things, that the healthiness of a person’s food choices inexorably decreases as the day wears on, that a person’s social network explains roughly a third of that person’s food choices, and that users’ healthiness scores correlate well with obesity rates in major U.S. cities. An infographic illustrates these and other facts and trends from the Eatery data.