we are what we eat

As those who know me are aware, some of my biggest passions arise in the realms of data visualization and food. Every so often, there is an intersection of the two seemingly unrelated subjects. I recently came across one example, a project called "The Eatery: A Massive Health Experiment".

Part of the project is an app: you take pictures of the food you eat, and it records data to show patterns about your eating habits back to you. There's an interesting crowd sourcing component, where in addition to rating how healthy the various dishes you're eating are, others (friends or strangers) can rate the healthiness of what you're eating as well. The concept is interesting: that by being more informed about what you are eating and how it fits together, you can be more aware of unhealthy patterns and change habits to improve health. Here's a video with more details:

The data collected isn't yours alone, but also contributes to a growing database, from which the folks behind the project are starting to pull observations and trends from analysis and visualization of the data: currently the data is over 7 million food ratings of half a million foods by Eatery users from over 50 countries over a span of 5 months. While I'm not a huge fan of the cartoony infographics, they do contain some interesting factoids, and I love the time-based visual on the relative healthiness with which people eat across geographies. I've put a screenshot of it below; you can view the interactive version of it as well as the infographics here.

Collecting individual data for better decision making seems to be an area of growing interest. Are you aware of other mechanisms for doing so? What data do you (or would you like to) collect about yourself? What do you do with it?