Natural vs. Artificially Sweet Tweets: Characterizing Discussions of Non-nutritive Sweeteners on Twitter

Hande Batan, Dianna Radpour, Ariane Kehlbacher, Judith Klein-Seetharaman, Michael J. Paul

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


This ongoing project aims to use social media data to study consumer behaviors regarding natural and artificial sweeteners Following the recent shifts to natural sweeteners such as Stevia versus artificial, and traditionally-used ones like aspartame in recent years, there has been discussion around potential negative side effects, including memory loss and other chronic illnesses. These issues are discussed on Twitter, and we hypothesize that Twitter may provide insights into how people make nutritional decisions about the safety of sweeteners given the inconclusive science surrounding the topic, how factors such as risk and consumer attitude are interrelated, and how information and misinformation about food safety is shared on social media. As an initial step, we describe a new dataset containing 308,738 de-duplicated English-language tweets spanning multiple years. We conduct a topic model analysis and characterize tweet volumes over time, showing a diversity of sweetener-related content and discussion. Our findings suggest a variety of research questions that these data may support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExplainable AI in Healthcare and Medicine - Building a Culture of Transparency and Accountability
EditorsArash Shaban-Nejad, Martin Michalowski, David L. Buckeridge
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9783030533519
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventAAAI International Workshop on Health Intelligence, W3PHIAI 2020 - New York City, United States
Duration: Feb 7 2020Feb 7 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Computational Intelligence
ISSN (Print)1860-949X
ISSN (Electronic)1860-9503


ConferenceAAAI International Workshop on Health Intelligence, W3PHIAI 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York City


  • Nutrition
  • Public health
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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