The Grapevine

What Is Mukbang And Is It Dangerous?

The word "mukbang" is literally a combination of two Korean words that translate to Muokda, which is to eat, and Bang Song, which is to broadcast.

These are shows that have taken over YouTube and other online platforms. Apparently, people from across the world have nurtured an appetite for these mundane programs that involve a person gorging on large amounts of food in front of a camera for hours.

Mukbang shows have been around for quite some time now, but the popularity of it began in South Korean in 2011. Today, this trend continues to receive attention from different kinds of people across the world.

Perhaps, all one sees at first glance is pure joy in these videos, but nutrition experts have raised concerns regarding the potential risks of the ongoing trend.

Some of the risks of mukbang include the serious aftermaths of overeating and the development of poor eating habits. It is important to dissect each to truly comprehend the dangers behind these seemingly innocuous shows.

1. Mukbang may promote overeating

The mass amounts of food seen in these shows usually stuck a joyous chord in people, simply because of how appetizing everything is. This increases the concern of whether or not the people behind these mukbangs are promoting binge eating or overeating.

If they are merely aiming to gain a lot of views, then this posits a bigger worry because they will unquestionably keep on doing these shows for attention.

2. Mukbang may cause people to acquire poor eating habits

Just like what has been mentioned above, mukbang, according to researchers, may lead to irresistible overeating. In support of this statement, studies suggest that it takes an average of 21 days for a person to form a habit.

Participating in mukbangs will certainly create negative eating habits because the large portions of unhealthy meals in these videos like ramen noodles, fried chicken, pizza and so on, means having poorer nutrition and health.

Mukbangs help destroy the barriers attached to diet culture. People need to open an eye to these disordered eating patterns.

While these may empower individuals to feel more confident, like how an anorexic person is encouraged by the rich culture of mukbangs, it is still necessary to watch with an analytical mindset, since whatever is shown can deeply influence those watching it.

Eating "Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is a condition described as a pathological obsession with healthy eating," a recent study said. Harold M. Lambert/Lambert/Getty Images

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