The success of the food network, along with thousands of other food programs, books, and websites etc, tells us that people like to watch and talk about all things food.
They don't just like to watch it being prepared either, they also thoroughly enjoy simply watching other people eat too.
What Is Mukbang?
The mukbang trend has captured the interest of many people online, the term translates into "eating broadcast," and the popularity of this content has now grown to encompass thousands of YouTube videos and channels. You can find people eating a variety of items with the most popular mukbang items being things like:
- candied grapes
- aloe vera
- sea grapes
The mukbang trend has brought along with it a growing interest for ASMR-related content as well. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and is characterized by the tingling sensation you get on your skin when you might hear certain sounds. People like the sounds of tapping, chewing, clicking of nails, whispering, and so on. Many mukbang videos online also market themselves as ASMR content too.
Some mukbang channels now have hundreds of thousands of subscribers and can make anywhere from $10,000 per month or more; some websites enable fans to pay their favorite mukbangers with virtual currency that they can buy with fiat.
Those who are putting out this content are binge eating large and mostly unhealthy quantities of food at their own risk for the financial payoff. And for some they admit that they don't mind the cost, they feel that the consequences are obviously worth it.
Recent research also suggests that popular YouTube stars might be inspiring children to eat more unhealthy snacks and foods by influencing them to copy what they see online.
Why Are People So Interested?
There are many reasons that have been suggested for why this might be a growing trend today.
For one, it's been said that eating is a social activity for most and many people today feel lonely and spend a lot of time eating at home, watching these videos online could be their way of connecting with others and feeling a little less lonely.
Some others might be watching the content because it relaxes them, offers them connection as well, and could even inspire them to lose weight by indulging in the videos of people eating their favorite junk food rather than them doing it themselves.