Does Journaling Encourage Healthier Choices? Analyzing Healthy Eating Behaviors of Food Journalers

Abstract

Past research has shown the benefits of food journaling in promoting mindful eating and healthier food choices. However, the links between journaling and healthy eating have not been thoroughly examined. Beyond caloric restriction, do journalers consistently and sufficiently consume healthful diets? How different are their eating habits compared to those of average consumers who tend to be less conscious about health? In this study, we analyze the healthy eating behaviors of active food journalers using data from MyFitnessPal. Surprisingly, our findings show that food journalers do not eat as healthily as they should despite their proclivity to health eating and their food choices resemble those of the general populace. Furthermore, we find that the journaling duration is only a marginal determinant of healthy eating outcomes and sociodemographic factors, such as gender and regions of residence, are much more predictive of healthy food choices.

Publication
Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Digital Health - DH ‘18