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'Mukbang' ban mulled by DOH after vlogger dies of stroke

'Mukbang' ban mulled by DOH after vlogger dies of stroke


The Department of Health (DOH) is considering banning “mukbang” or eating vlogs following the death of a food content creator in Iligan due to stroke. 

According to Mariz Umali’s report on “24 Oras,” Health Secretary Teddy Herbosa has issued a public health warning against mukbang videos and urged their regulation after the death of vlogger Dongz Apatan on June 13. 

“It’s a bad practice because people make content by overeating. Overeating is not healthy. It will lead to obesity," Herbosa said.

"And obesity will lead to hypertension, heart conditions, non-communicable diseases, and even heart attacks,” he added.

According to Herbosa, studies showed that watching similar videos could lead to eating disorders or internet addiction. 

“Because other people copy it. Other people will also do the same because they earn money from doing a video blog of mukbang. So, it's risky for them,” Herbosa said. 

The DOH may issue a ban on such videos if it is confirmed that Apatan’s death is linked to mukbang or overeating.

“You are promoting unhealthy behavior to the Filipinos….I can ban it locally. I can propose banning mukbang locally. Even ask the DICT to stop those sites. [It's like] food pornography,” said Herbosa.

“It's asking, making people eat like gluttons. You can earn income as long as it does not produce health risks. If you’re earning from something that is a public health threat, I will have to stop you,” he added. 

Food vlogger Richard came in defense of mukbang videos. 

“May mga viewers po kami na may mga sakit, mga walang gana pong kumain, na nagpapasalamat po sa amin dahil nagkakaroon po sila ng gana kapag napapanood po yung mga video namin. Siyempre, yun po yung nagiging gasolina namin eh. Para magtuluy-tuloy,” he said. 

(Some of our viewers have illnesses and others do not have appetite. They thank us because they eat well after watching our videos. That fuels us to continue.)

“Isang beses lang po ako nakain sa isang araw. Tapos, naglo-low carb pa po ako. Disiplinado po kasi kami. So kahit naman yung mga regular na tao depende po yan sa ating ating disiplina sa pagkain,” he added. 

(I eat only once a day and practice low-carb eating. We are disciplined. It depends on discipline in how one eats, even for regular folk)

Video streaming platform YouTube said it was strictly monitoring similar content, specifically videos related to eating disorders. —Sundy Locus/NB, GMA Integrated News