When the lights go out, the world eats junk

This remarkable infographic shows our eating habits deteriorate as the day goes on – and it’s the same the world round.

It’s easy to start the day on a healthy footing. Yoghurt and fresh fruit are incredibly satisfying at 8am, punctuated with a cup of coffee to rev the brain. But by 8pm, everything changes. We become ravenous carnivores, craving the flesh of fatty charred meats and the comforting toasty bite of calorie-laden french fries.

Melted cheese would nauseate your 8am self, and the same could be said about anything fried or coated in BBQ sauce. Come lunchtime, they seem quite delicious.

This infographic, built by food app company, Massive Health, shows 24 hours of eating habits around the world, and it’s an aggregation of 7.68 million self-reported food ratings over a five-month period.

It’s a simple, effective heat map that shows, while cultures may all have their own version of junk food, we all manage to indulge in it when the sun goes down. Green means good food decisions. Yellow is worse. And red is bad.

eating infographicThe top picture shows the West Coast of the USA at 7am, the second one shows it at 10pm.

Get the interactive version here…

Not only do eating trends get worse over time, they get worse in a direct, predictable path. Food decisions at 10am are worse than at 7am; at 4pm, they’re worse than at 12pm, and at 11pm they’re even worse than 10pm.

In the interactive version, all you have to do is scroll right to see that, when the lights go out across the globe, every developed region begins to munch on the deplorable. Our species is remarkably predictable, and one can’t help but wonder, what other societal trends would look exactly the same -van dalism, infidelity, shamefully self-reflective Facebook posts – honestly, how many good decisions are any of us making after midnight?

Massive Health’s data is particularly amazing when you consider that experimental psychologists have consistently shown that self-control is a finite resource. For example, studies have shown that the more willpower you exert trying not to eat junk food, the less you’ll be able to resist other temptations….

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