Mukbang

Mukbang has become a worldwide trend. This type of video shows people eating large quantities of food while being filmed, popular among young adults in China, South Korea and Japan.

What Is A mukbang?

The Mukbang is an online video where someone eats an abundance of food. It has quickly become popular across Korea and beyond. Many make money off these videos by promoting products or brands.  Others use them to connect with followers.  Some mukbangs may even serve as an escape from reality, providing social, sexual, and entertainment features that may distract viewers from real world issues.

Mukbangs have come under scrutiny for glorifying overeating and encouraging disordered eating patterns, while the videos may also be dangerous for people with health conditions.  For instance, many mukbangs contain high amounts of fats and carbohydrates, leading to weight gain, insulin resistance and other adverse outcomes.  They could even pose risks to those allergic to certain food groups.

Mukbangs can also be wasteful due to the amount of food that is purchased.  Patrons frequently overeat, leaving behind leftovers which end up going to waste and costing money to throw out, an unnecessary and wasteful practice.

Mukbangs have come under scrutiny by experts as an encouragement of binge eating and poor eating habits. A dietitian noted that watching these videos was like riding “the roller coaster for your body,” as the body is left uncertain as to whether feast or famine mode has arrived.  Some critics describe them as a source of “calorie overload,” leading them directly to obesity or other health complications.

Why Do People Watch Mukbangs?

A Mukbang is an entertaining trend that started in South Korea about ten years ago and has quickly spread worldwide. It entails individuals filming themselves eating large amounts of food while interacting with viewers via YouTube.  These videos can be watched by anyone with access to an internet connection for entertainment, vicarious satisfaction or social interactions purposes. People view Mukbangs for various reasons ranging from entertainment and vicarious satisfaction to social interaction purposes.

Many viewers of mukbangs use them to satisfy cravings for unhealthy items like junk food. People may use videos of this nature as a means of recreating an eating experience with friends.  Furthermore, watching these shows may offer relief from stressful or unpleasant life events.

Studies have also demonstrated the vicarious satisfaction provided by watching mukbangs for individuals unable or unwilling to consume certain foods for reasons related to health or diet restrictions. One such study by Tu and Fishbach (2017) discovered that when people saw someone else eat pizza on video they actually desired less pizza afterward!

Bruno and Chung (2017) found that some mukbangs also include an interactive live chat component for interaction between diners and viewers both during and post-eating process. Bruno and Chung observed this chat feature significantly improved quality as well as viewers emotional mood during mukbang dining experiences.

The Process

Mukbang, or meokneun bangsong in Korean, is an online video trend in which individuals film themselves eating large quantities of food while recording it on video. While originally popular in South Korea, Mukbang has since spread worldwide as an “eating show” or an “eatcast.” Mukbang refers to both meokneun (“to eat”) and bangsong (“to broadcast”) respectively.

Mukbangers, or those behind mukbang videos, typically attract a small but dedicated following who watch as they consume food in front of a camera. Mukbangers frequently interact with viewers through live chats or comment sections and often feature an overarching theme in each video, whether that means eating specific types of food or trying new experiences.

Some of the most popular mukbangs feature food from restaurants or takeout places.  Others focus on cooking their own meals in the kitchen and sharing what has been created. Some mukbangs become immensely popular and may earn substantial sums through advertising, donations, or other sources.

Mukbangs can not only generate profit for you, but they can also promote local businesses and events while disseminating health-related information to attendees. While previously seen as unfit forms of entertainment, mukbangs have now come to be recognized for their potential advantages.

Mukbangs, like any large gathering, can generate large quantities of waste. To limit wasteful consumption, Mukbangers strive to minimize food waste by saving leftovers and using recycled materials like plastic forks and napkins for their events.

Mukbangs can also promote unhealthy eating habits. For instance, many mukbangs encourage excessive food consumption such as fast-food consumption. This could contribute to obesity as well as other health concerns. Mukbangs may even become addictive and increase the risk of binge eating disorder.

Although mukbangs may pose serious negative impacts, they remain widely popular worldwide. Many enjoy watching other people eat, especially live events where you can interact with the participants (and sometimes interact back!). Others find watching mukbangs to be therapeutic or relaxing if the show includes soothing music or sounds such as chewing and slurping!

Benefits

Some find mukbangs both relaxing and entertaining. Watching one with sizzling sounds, chewing noises, crinkling or crackling noises and crackling noises can stimulate endorphins (neurotransmitters that promote feelings of pleasure) being released. Mukbangs also offer visual stimulation that stimulates both close ups of food being eaten, as well as photos or descriptions of how the meal was prepared.

Some mukbangs include ASMR (a type of soothing or tingling sensation produced when the body responds to specific stimuli); such as slow, deliberate eating that focuses on sucking, chewing, slurping, soothing voices/music etc, for an ASMR effect!

Mukbangs can help individuals feel connected to others. According to research conducted on this subject, those watching mukbangs could feel as though they were eating together with others as well as engaging in live chat interactions with the mukbangers, creating an empathic bond between viewers and participants in these shows.

But it is important to keep in mind that mukbangs do carry risks. Some individuals can become addicted to them and, as a result, avoid real life interactions.

Future research should examine the long-term ramifications of mukbangs. There is evidence to suggest they can cause disordered eating patterns like bingeing and restricting, while simultaneously acting as a trigger for those experiencing mental health issues. Furthermore, mukbangs can contribute to food waste.

Influencers could turn the concept into a positive outreach.  Featured videos could consist of sustainable food sources such as urban farming, aquaculture, organic, and locally grown foods.

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