Mukbang or meokbang is a live audiovisual broadcast in which the host eats large amounts of food while talking to the audience. The word is a combination of two Korean words muk-ja, meaning 'eating', and bang-song, which means 'broadcast'. The trend started in South Korea in 2010 and is now spreading to India. Over the years, the pattern of eating the food has changed and various additions and deductions have been made to the online trend. However, videos of people binge eating continue to attract a lot of audience on social media platforms. Mukbang Videos: Young Women Get Rich Eating Delicious Food on Social Media As We Watch in Hunger…Penniless.
There are varying reasons why people like to watch others eat food. One of the reasons is the sound of chewing, slurping and crunching relaxes the mind due to auditory stimuli. It is called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) in which the sound of chips being crunched and other similar sounds calm the listener.
Mukbang, The Korean Food-Eating Trend Reaches India:
Another reason explains that there is an increasing number of people who live alone and want to watch someone while they are eating. In India, the trend has seen a 100 per cent rise in the past four years.
People who upload Mukbang videos keep large quantities of food in front of them and then start eating looking into the camera. Those watching the videos feel like they are having their meals with someone.
While earlier the videos were live-streamed, it is now recorded and uploaded on YouTube and other similar platforms. Those eating talk about various things like social issues, politics, experiences or anything random. While these videos get a lot of views, leading to a lot of revenue generation, it comes at a cost. They eat their entire day's food at a go and also try edibles they haven't eaten in their whole life. This is a bit risky as it may tamper with their health and make them sick. However, the trend continues to be widely watched on social media platforms.