Mukbang Phenomenon: An Internet Eating Culture

Mukbang Phenomenon: An Internet Eating Culture

Image via Youtube

Mukbang, a social media trend where people consume a large amount of food on camera and it has become a huge phenomenon on YouTube. Why is it so popular? A millennium culture fad, many fans of mukbangs have been invested in watching Youtubers preparing and eating extraordinary amounts of food while chatting with their viewers.

What does Mukbang mean? It is a portmanteau of the Korean words for “eating” and “broadcast” so it literally means eating broadcasts. In Korea, it is pronounced as “mook bong” while westerners pronounce it as “muck bang”. Mukbang has been practised in South Korea in the early 2010s which took place in livestream form and is now popular all over the world. It is a little bit different from Americans where they prefer making pre-recorded videos. The obsessions over food have made mukbang a new genre on YouTube. Mukbang creators gather hundreds of thousand followers and even some of them have reached millions. What exactly mukbang creators do in their videos? You will see some videos with crunchy sound effects and the host describing the food and interacting with the viewers, while other videos show the creator eating alone quietly. Seafood Mukbangs, especially seafood boils are popular among American mukbangers. Other dishes include spicy ramen to Jjajangmyeon, buffalo wings, cakes, honeycombs and a host of Korean dishes.

Image via Youtube

Apparently, viewers take satisfaction in watching and listening to people slurp, chew and review the food. A Korean Mukbang Youtuber, Dorothy, generates more than 400,000 views for each of her videos and one of her eating king crab videos garners 18 million views. She mostly eats Korean food in her videos and you will be impressed with her ability to stuff a large amount of food into her mouth. She is also known for her high tolerance to spicy food as she could eat ghost pepper noodles without sweating.

     Image via Youtube

Did you know that these Mukbang influencers are making a lot of money just by eating food? Another Mukbang star, a 26- year old Kim Thai reportedly makes 6 figures salary in over 8 months from ads and sponsorships. She quitted her previous job at a national beauty brand to focus on creating YouTube videos. She described the moment as a nerve-wracking move and a big-leap but glad that she decided to follow her heart. With over 500k subscribers, she is one now one of the top mukbang YouTubers.

Mukbangers can consume up to 4,000 calories in one sitting. According to Men’s Health, Mukbang stars stated that their bodies suffer the aftermaths but they are willing to sacrifice because of the money (and attention) they are getting in this digital world. Nutrition experts claim that it may encourage overeating and promote a poor diet. Mukbangers indulge in a vast amount of fast food and overconsumption, this can lead to an increase of weight-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Everything has its pros and cons. Mukbang trends continue to thrive on the internet and do not show any signs of slowing down thus, it is important to realize and recognize the possible health consequences.

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