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Have you seen videos coming up on your stream now and then with people eating loads of food in front of the camera? Well! Then, you are already aware of Mukbang. It is a South Korean word that refers to eating broadcast.
What is Mukbang? As the name suggests, these videos involve people sitting in front of the camera and binge-eating food and drinks. Mukbang video has become a global trend since 2010, with its videos getting close to 350 million views on YouTube in the first quarter of 2018. The trend has translated into numerous cultures worldwide, with people creating different types of videos now and then. Its popularity has raised concerns among parents, though. Whether the video is okay for kids? Will it bring about any side effects? Read ahead to find out the answers we have prepared for you.
Part 1. What is Mukbang?
As mentioned before, Mukbang is a South Korean word that means an eating show. However, its meaning has changed over time to resonate with eating immense quantities of food during a live broadcast. In some Mukbangs, the hosts interact with a live audience while binge eating the food. On the other hand, many hosts now prefer to pre-record Mukbang shows and upload them as static videos on social media and video-sharing platforms.
The word is a portmanteau in Korean and was shortlisted for the Year’s Word in 2020 by Collins dictionaries. In essence, the term resonated with the rise of a new eating culture in Korea, far away from the traditional healthy eating culture practiced in the nation for decades. The word has been copied into numerous other languages where creators create Mukbang content despite not being Korean by birth.
Part 2. Why is Mukbang So Popular?
Many people wonder why do people watch Mukbang? There are numerous reasons why Mukbang resonates with many people.
Reason 1. First, Kim-Hae Jun from Chosun University suggests that watching binge-eating videos can satisfy a person’s craving for food. Similarly, in live broadcasts, the audience can ask the live anchor to perform different actions related to their eating and have a great interactive experience as a form of leisure and entertainment. Between 2017-2019 alone, over 100,000 videos on YouTube had the term Mukbang searched for it, showing the sheer interest of people in viewing such content. In some cases, people try to relieve their loneliness of eating alone by watching such videos alongside their eating routines.
Reason 2. Another major reason for Mukbang’s popularity is its earning potential. Many social media and video sharing platforms currently offer significant earnings to the content creator for viral videos. Given how people interact with and watch Mukbangs, many creators love creating such content to boost their incomes and improve their lifestyles.
Reason 3. Similarly, traditional Mukbangs are also watched much in the Korean culture because their hosts are traditionally attractive women, making such videos a tool for potential sexual use. In some cases, viewers on a diet may feel satisfied with their food cravings by watching such videos.
Part 3. What Should Parents Know About Mukbang?
While many parents know what Mukbang is, they are often unaware of the potential adverse side-effects of such videos. Here, some of the major side-effects of Mukbangs are listed below:
• Adverse health effects
Mukbang can impact the human body adversely. In many cases, the food consumed during Mukbang broadcasts is unhealthy, fatty, or high in calories. Such immense qualities of food entering your body in a single session will damage your body organs and hurt your liver. Moreover, viewers who get inspired by Mukbang videos may follow similar routines, causing severe health and possible obesity.
• Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response
ASMR exasperation can be a massive side-effect of Mukbangs. Explained, some people prefer watching Mukbang videos to satisfy different cravings other than physical eating. For example, a child may love the sound of chewing enough to watch such videos, while people may find such videos sensual in some cases and get a 'near-pornographic experience' from watching. Over time, such watching trends can exasperate the underlying conditions.
• Social Comparison and Mimicry
Children may start consuming excessive diets by either getting inspired by the Mukbang videos or trying to make a social comparison between their eating standards and the person whom they are watching in the video. In addition, people who are already facing eating issues can further delve into binge-eating by watching such videos.
• Food Perceptions Change
Usually, parents focus hard on convincing their children of the harm associated with different foods, such as those high in calories or highly fatty foods. However, watching Mukbang videos can persuade children of the opposite opinion: if the host can eat these foods, why can’t I? As such, their health may come at stake by eating frozen foods and consuming minimal quantities of a healthy diet.
• Body shaming
Seeing people eat so much and remain thin can lead to complexes about a person's appearance, inducing severe appearance anxiety. It could lead to corrective actions that are not healthy and can cause damage to the body in the long term.
Part 4. What can Wondershare FamiSafe do?
Wondershare FamiSafe is an excellent software that has been developed to help parents monitor and control their child’s device activity. Using FamiSafe, parents can keep track of the content the child engages with on the phone and lockout content that is hazardous and adverse. Some of the main features related to Wondershare Famisafe are listed below:
Parents can determine the total screen time children can spend and the time allowed for different applications. Therefore, applications like TikTok and YouTube with Mukbang content can be blocked out after a certain screen time. Kids will not be able to access it once it is beyond screen time.
• Web Filter
Parents can filter out the content children can and can not view remotely using the Wondershare FamiSafe application. This way, any content related to Mukbang can be filtered out from the search results of allowed viewership of the child on their devices. Not only this, parents can set one specific website as an exception to block or allow.
Step 1. Download FamiSafe on your device, install FamiSafe Jr. on kids’ device.
Step 2. Open the FamiSafe app, create an account then get started.
Step 3. Once you started the app, there will be a pairing code for you to connect your device with your kids’. Then you can start monitoring.
Step 4. Tap Features->Web Filter, there are ten categories of content prepared for you to block or allow.
Step 5. To block the specific website, please tap on Exceptions. Type in the correct URL, then click Block to keep your kids away from that site.
Both the YouTube, TikTok, and browser history of the child can be monitored remotely by the parents. Therefore, the parent will know immediately if the child is interacting with much Mukbang content. In such is a case, these applications can be locked out to protect the child from the adverse impact of Mukbang videos.
Parents can determine the terms that the child cannot search on their devices, browsers, and applications. Therefore, it can lock out the child from searching any Mukbang related content to protect them from getting affected by Mukbang adversely.
Part 5. More Suggestions for Parents
Apart from using Wondershre FamiSafe, some other suggestions to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst children and reduce the negative impact of any online videos like Mukbang are as follows:
• Outdoor activity
Spending time on outdoor activities can help the children remain healthy. Outdoor activities are a natural form of exercise and help people stay fit. Children can find interest in some sport that they can play regularly. This way, the negative impacts of binge-eating can reduce.
• Regular communication
Regular communication with your kids is an excellent way to learn about their concerns and issues. Parents can determine the reason why they watch Mukbangs through regular communication. This way, getting insight into your child's lives can help determine a positive strategy to keep them safe from the adverse effects of online content, including Mukbang.
• Role model
Parents like you are the role models for your kids. Therefore, they must first set a good example by spending less time binge-watching online content, not just Mukbang. Similarly, they should embrace positive physical activities themselves as well. This way, the child would become more interested in staying positive about other things in life.
It is never an issue to watch Mukbang or play the tech devices; however, binge-watching such videos can be an alarming trigger for all parents. Try to convince your kids to spend time on positive outdoor activities, and take advantage of the parental control app like Wondershare FamiSafe to establish a healthy online environment for them. In this way, Parents’ concerns can be relieved easily.