Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

Spring 4-21-2023

Thesis Advisor

Bart De Jonghe, Katherine Moore


anthropology, nutrition, binge eating, food, college, university, culture


Available literature in this field provides insight as to the psychological effect of watching live streamed binge eating videos, also known as mukbang. This study is designed to better understand the anthropological perspective and allude to the nutritional approaches on mukbang. The larger anthropological context includes understanding the influence of media in distributing and popularizing what was considered a trend in Korea and contextualizing social unity. In particular, there is an emphasis on the cultural shift away from the social norm of eating and socializing together to contentment in eating alone. In terms of the nutritional perspective, this includes putting into perspective binge episodes, the promotion of overeating and encouragement of poor eating habits streamed across the internet, and the effects on an individual’s metabolism as a result of a high intake of food in one sitting within a short frame of time. This research endeavor is in efforts to understand how college students at Penn perceive binge eating and how normalized it has become in response to trends and shifts in culture to embrace mukbangs as an accepted form of content creation. Methods include a survey (n=58) to collect both qualitative and quantitative data on perceptions and preconceived notions towards mukbang and the global sensation surrounding it. Findings and conclusions reflect the complexity of this topic and the depth and range of opinions and perspectives that individuals bring regardless of their race and ethnicity.



Date Posted: 10 May 2023


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