Seasonal Characterization of Diet Discussions on Reddit

Document Type



To monitor public opinions on diet, large survey data is commonly used though costly and time consuming. Social media has become a mainstream channel of communication and has drastically grown in popularity, connecting users to a ready stream of health information. While the literature has pro-vided valuable information on the use of social media for health, a broader perspective informed by different types of social media platforms would be highly beneficial. Diet has been extensively explored on a few mainstream plat-forms, further informing public health research. However, diet conversations on Reddit have only been studied within a narrow scope, looking at specific sub-communities. This study aims to characterize diet-related posts and their seasonal patterns using a mixed method approach. We collected more than500,000 posts with subsequent comments from Reddit over the course of a year. Our findings show that Reddit users across all sub-communities primarily discussed health promotion, fitness plans, a healthy lifestyle, diet and fit-ness progress, food experiences, weight loss, as well as vegan and vegetarian diets. In addition, seasonal differences based on the weight of most topics, were found to be significant (p<.05).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

APA Citation

Money, V., Karami, A., Turner‐McGrievy, B., & Kharrazi, H. (2020). Seasonal characterization of diet discussions on Reddit. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 57(1), e320.