Eating junk food at night is the one eating habit the whole world shares

Here's something that I never thought would be possible: the whole world seems to have something in common. Although I wish that it was something positive (like, I don't know, a desire to work towards world peace?) a new app has just determined that people around the world have a very similar habit when it comes to their daily eating routine. 

We all start off with healthy meals in the morning but then get worse throughout the day and, well, by the time it's dark out we're all back to eating junk food. What's up with our nasty little habit, world? Why are so many people, all over the globe, falling off the wagon at night?


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The information was collected by Massive Health's iPhone app, Eatery, which had users record and track the healthiness of their meals over time and eventually came to this conclusion after 5 months and 500,000 meals from users in 50 countries. Although the app didn't track why we eat worse later in the day, founder Aza Raskin does think it shows an interesting worldwide pattern:

In terms of why, we can only make educated guesses. There is a 1.7 percent overall decrease in healthiness of what's eaten for every hour of the day that passes after breakfast. That's as true in Tokyo as it is in San Francisco as it is in São Paulo. It teaches us about something fundamental about the way people make decisions about food—and decisions in general.

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So what is it, hour by hour, that makes us make less healthy decisions? Is it that our discipline starts out high and then gets lower and lower throughout the day? Is it that we get busier and busier, thus forgetting to make healthier choices? Or is it something else entirely? Either way, I think now it's time for science to take this data and determine why, all over the world, we seem to have a weakness for junk food after hours. Maybe that'll help provide some answers about the obesity epidemic, too.

Do you snack worse at night? Do you think it's interesting or strange that the world seems to have the same pattern of being less healthy later in the day? Share with us in the comments below!

Image via Jaypeg/flickr

Topics: overweight  junk food