A Map Of Healthy Eating In The U.S.

Where do the healthiest people in America live? Here’s where people are eating the best and worst foods.

People eat healthier on the coasts of the U.S. than in the Midwest or South. Don’t believe us? Health technology startup Massive Health has gathered food consumption data from hundreds of thousands of users of its Eatery iPhone app, which asks users to take pictures of their food, rate it based on perceived healthiness, and then rate other people’s pictures.


People are actually quite good at knowing whether they and their friends are eating food that’s good for them. The combined Eatery ratings for major cities tracked exactly with the obesity levels in those cities. People in Philly, for instance, know those cheesesteaks are bad for them. But they’re still eating them.

Where are people eating the healthiest? On the coasts. This heat map shows green where people are rating their food as healthy, and red where they’re rating it as unhealthy (we’re looking at you, Philly). As you can see, you’ll find a lot more red as you go inland. You can compare the Eatery map below to a map of official state-by-state obesity rates:

One simple way to up your healthy eating habits, no matter where you live: Cook your own food. Eatery users’ own meals were far more healthy than ones they got at restaurants. You can see the whole infographic below:

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.