Mukbang is a message

maybe we feel bit lonely

Mukbang (eating broadcast), as an Internet paradigm, is so popular in the live video streaming age. There are no boundaries between production and conception, and some of the network anchors are also audiences to other live streamings. A lot of people who love food create their channel because they find watching other people eating is appealing.

Live streaming platforms, like Twitch, create shows that contain a high level of real-time engagement. I believe it also brings a sense of belonging to the audiences; a large number of followers indicates that be active audiences are more interesting than passively sit and receive information. 

Also, in Korea, Japan, and China, we are raised with the idea of collectivism. However, when we started work, the fast modern life pace forces us to live and eat alone, and that brings loneliness. Asian (especially Korean) regard the host as their meal pal or virtual accompany, and they are sharing lunch with them.

Furthermore, I think we can dig deeper in terms of psychology compensating.

(I explained little more in the comments)


Both two big eaters have a YouTube Channel, and they also do live eating streaming regularly.


Bunnell, K. (2004) Craft and digital technology

Mukbang: is loneliness behind the craze for watching other people eating?https://www.theguardian.com/food/shortcuts/2018/nov/05/mukbang-is-loneliness-behind-the-craze-for-watching-other-people-eating

If you have no idea about Mukbang, this post can help Extreme Eating: Are “Mukbangs” Helpful or Hurtful to Those With Eating Disorders?

5 thoughts on “Mukbang is a message”

  1. I think the Mukbang culture is not only an eating culture thing but also a kind of psychology compensating. I see what you are confused, and may I assume you are from a western country?

    I think our cultural background influence us and the way we find what is “interesting.” As far as I understand, the Westerner is more focus on raising kids to be more independent. So eating with some weird guy on the screen is unimaginable. On the contrary, Asian (especially Korean) regard the host is their meal pal, and they are sharing lunch with them.

    Besides, we can also interpret this social phenomenon in the psychological term. Most popular eating hosts are those big eaters who can eat about 5kg energy-dense food in an hour, and that just sounds ridiculous, isn’t it? I think audiences are trying to seek a kind of emotional fulfillment due to the fact normal human beings can not and will not eat three whole pizzas at one time. Some psychologists think a subconscious desire is relieved while watching other people pigging out unhealthy food.

    However, not all the Mukbang hosts have a big stomach; some are just really good at cooking and evaluating food. I have learned some Korean and Japanese recipes from them.

    (Sorry for the long text, I just really love food culture as a whole)


  2. okay, so I guess I’m just a little confused on this whole concept. I’ve heard about it before and I know its huge in Korea, I’ve ran into heaps of posts before on reddit. people watch this for entertainment obviously, but is there a comedic element to it all, like do people find this funny (either laughing along with the creators or laughing at them) or is it just purely a cultural enjoyment and being involved – genuine question. personally I would either feel way too hungry watching along and feel the need to eat, or feel sick watching someone eat when i’m already full 😂 very interesting idea and great post to support it, well done. also any clarification would be appreciated!



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