2012: A year of nutrition according to twitter

In the past I’ve done a favorites list at the end of each year, but I’ve been enjoying using Python to download tweets, so I decided to try something new. I downloaded the last year’s worth of tweets from people who in my opinion consistently link to good sources and combined them all to see what links were most popular. I used a number of people from the list that I maintain here. Obviously my focus was nutrition, but the people I chose represent a broad survey of food, nutrition, biotech, and other health topics. Here is a CSV of the 34 people I included.

After removing 6 people who tweeted more than 3,200 times in the last year and therefore I couldn’t collect a full year’s worth of tweets, here is a plot of tweet counts per week of the 28 others. It seems there is a slight summer spike:

There were 20,383 links among 41,479 tweets. I wrote code to expand the links that were shortened, and incorporated the number of times the link was retweeted.

So here are the most popular links of 2012 from these 34 people. I added notes to the top 10:

Count Notes
www.runnersworld.com/sweat-science 1736 Alex Hutchinson’s new blog
twitpic.com/bmasf6 158 Humorous correlation
www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/prop37-poster3.jpeg 120 Prop37 poster
www.foodpolitics.com/2012/09/are-organics-more-nutritious-again-sigh/ 111 Organic/conventional meta-analysis
www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/angry-coaches-beware-athletes-respond-poorly-to-negative-feedback-studies-find/article4687276/ 109 Article by Alex Hutchinson
sweatscience.com/the-incredible-unaging-triathlete/ 99 Same as above
www.centerforfoodsafety.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/organic-fact-sheet.pdf 88 Organic fact sheet
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23007179 82 Study on TV & life expectancy
gibneyonfood.blogspot.com/ 78 Mike Gibney’s new blog
www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CFSAN/CFSANFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm305226.htm 78 HFCS/corn sugar debacle
www.kickstarter.com/projects/illumine/food-chain 78
www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/business/organic-food-purists-worry-about-big-companies-influence.html?_r=2&amp ref=business&amp 77
www.foodpolitics.com/2012/01/weighing-in-on-paula-deens-type-2-diabetes/ 76
www.runnersworld.com/health/too-much-running-myth-rises-again 71
www.foodpolitics.com/2012/11/kids-dont-need-kids-food/ 67
www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/magazine/why-californias-proposition-37-should-matter-to-anyone-who-cares-about-food.html?pagewanted=all&amp _r=1&amp 67
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BdFkK-HufU&amp list=UUVNyZUMykNKrK70JC_Q1qug&amp index=1 66
teach.com/education-policy/childhood-obesity-facts 65
www.outsideonline.com/fitness/recovery/Stress-Tested.html 65
www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/02/michael-pollans-food-rules-as-a-stop-motion-animation-video/253120/ 64
www.weightymatters.ca/2012/12/the-talk-food-industry-couldnt-bear-to.html?utm_medium=twitter&amp utm_source=twitterfeed 64
www.wphna.org/2012_june_wn2_editorial.htm 62
www.foodpolitics.com/2012/01/want-to-lost-weight-eat-less/ 61
www.runnersworld.com/peak-performance 61
www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/eggs-and-atherosclerosis/ 61
www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/our-failing-food-system/genetic-engineering/eight-ways-monsanto-fails.html 61
opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/is-a-calorie-a-calorie/?smid=tw-bittman&amp seid=auto 60
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22427621 60
www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/10/us-agriculture-weeds-idUSBRE8491JZ20120510 60
www.youtube.com/watch?v=62JMfv0tf3Q&amp feature=youtu.be 60
sustainableagriculture.net/blog/faq-on-farm-bill-expiration/ 57
www.sauder.ubc.ca/News/2012/Do_advertising_bans_work_New_research_by_Assistant_Professor_Tirtha_Dhar 56
www.foodpolitics.com/2012/09/regulations-do-change-eating-behavior/ 55
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23007933 55
www.runnersworld.com/sports-psychology/praise-praise 55
blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100193259/huffington-post-explains-how-homeopathic-medicines-work-without-bothering-to-mention-that-they-dont/ 54
www.foodpolitics.com/2012/09/do-sugar-sweetened-beverages-promote-obesity-yes-say-papers-in-the-new-england-journal/ 53
www.carighttoknow.org/monsanto_gives_4_2_million_to_kill_california_gmo_labeling_initiative 52
biomechanics.byu.edu/footstrikesmens10k.jpg 51
www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Launches-Institute-to-Battle-Childhood-Obesity.aspx?nfstatus=401&amp nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&amp nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token 51
content.healthaffairs.org/content/31/1/199.abstract 50
online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/chi.2012.0085.nest 50
www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_26621.cfm 50
www.thera-bandacademy.com/elements/clients/docs/MacDonald-behm2011-trac-roller__201108DD_044420.pdf 50
www.ewg.org/agmag/2012/07/top-ten-reason-to-reject-the-house-farm-bill/ 49
dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/after-turmoil-departure-of-slow-food-leader/?ref=juliamoskin 48
content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USDAOC-26fa60 46
theweightofthenation.hbo.com/films 46

So, it over-represents some stories but for a really simple method it isn’t bad for showing a sampling of popular links.

Happy new year!