What have I been working on recently?

What’s Cooking: Exploring How People Communicate about Food Online

A current research project my colleagues and I have been working on is studying how online users from different regions in the United States talk about food. Our team has analyzed over 299,900 Reddit posts and found people in healthy and unhealthy regions conceptualize and talk about food in very different ways.  One striking difference we found is the way people in unhealthy regions talk about the location of a restaurant (e.g., north) whereas people in healthy regions are more likely to name the type of cuisine (e.g., Thai). When it comes to eating, people in unhealthy cities may be more likely to drive to places and they are very conscious about the restaurant availability before they start their journey.  In contrast, people living in healthy cities are more active as they either walk or bike to their food location.