Main content

The mystery of mukbang

Why do millions of people go online to watch total strangers binge-eat junk food?

What's the fascination with watching total strangers eat plate after plate of junk food? Is it a grotesque and irresponsible spectacle, or could it be a way to tackle loneliness, and even help some deal with their own food issues? Graihagh Jackson finds out what's fuelling the internet craze 'mukbang' and asks what it says about our attitudes to food and each other.

An avid mukbang watcher explains how it gives her emotional and social connections she's lacking in her offline life, and also helps her resist the urge to eat foods she shouldn't. Performer Moxie Beast describes how she amplifies the sounds of her crunching and chewing to soothe her viewers, and how she tries to stay healthy while doing it.

In South Korea, where mukbang started, we hear how mukbang is helping to forge digital communities at a time when many, especially the young, are living alone. Plus, a clinical psychiatrist talks us through his latest research into the links between mukbang and eating disorders.

Available now

27 minutes

Last on

Mon 23 Mar 2020 01:32GMT

Broadcasts

  • Thu 19 Mar 2020 02:32GMT
  • Thu 19 Mar 2020 03:32GMT
  • Thu 19 Mar 2020 04:32GMT
  • Thu 19 Mar 2020 05:32GMT
  • Thu 19 Mar 2020 11:32GMT
  • Thu 19 Mar 2020 18:32GMT
  • Thu 19 Mar 2020 21:32GMT
  • Thu 19 Mar 2020 23:32GMT
  • Sun 22 Mar 2020 08:32GMT
  • Sun 22 Mar 2020 17:32GMT
  • Mon 23 Mar 2020 01:32GMT

Featured in...

Food Chain highlights

Food Chain highlights

Tea, coffee, spices, chillies ... snack on a selection of programme highlights

Podcast