Thanks to TikTok, we've seen a variety of food trends come and go over the last year: homemade pancake cereal, dalgona coffee, and that feta pasta. As we graduated from the basics into the more involved TikTok recipes (cc: grilling sunflower heads), we've also been met with some, well, unfortunate viral trends, too. The latest is honey (yes, honey). And this one honey trend apparently comes with some serious health-related side effects.
According to several viral TikTok videos, the honey trend goes like this: first, you freeze excessive amounts of honey in containers like water bottles; then, you squeeze the honey out of the bottle; then, you bite into it. Dave Ramirez, a TikToker boasting 5.5 million followers, is credited as the "frozen honey king" by fans since originating the trend early in July. In his original video, Ramirez chomps into a largely solidified blob of honey that had been freezing in a water bottle and calls the concoction "pretty refreshing."
Since then, users have taken artistic liberty in their spins on the trend, altering the colour of the honey with food dye and adding sweets to the goo so it looks more appealing when it's squeezed out. Many have also largely switched out pure honey for corn syrup mixed with traces of honey instead. The result of it all? A popular trend with 900 million views, according to The New York Times.
Participants in TikTok's latest trend have had mixed reactions to eating oversized chunks of honey in one sitting. While some say the resulting blob is sweet and liken it to candy, others have visibly been turned off by the consistency of the honey and how sweet chunks of honey and corn syrup became once they started eating them.
It all sounds simple enough, right? Well, apparently, some side effects are less than desirable. As is the case with doing anything in excess, it turns out that ingesting massive amounts of honey isn't good for the body. The honey trend has been a source of concern for health professionals because of the pure amount of sugar being eaten in one sitting.
"Eating a little bit of corn syrup such as a serving, which is a tablespoon, is not detrimental," Amy Shapiro, a dietitian and nutritionist based in New York City, told Insider when she was asked about the cons of the viral trend. "However, the amount that is being squeezed out of the bottle is way more than 1 tablespoon. When you add colour and Kool-Aid to it, children will likely eat more than one serving, especially if they're making multiple colours." Shapiro also noted that continuously eating honey and corn syrup can put the body at risk for a dangerous amount of weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Not only should participants in the frozen honey trend worry about the long-term possibilities of heart and blood diseases, but they should also worry about the short-term result of eating honey and corn syrup: diarrhoea and rotting teeth, according to dietician Sarah Rueven.
"I think like most viral videos on TikTok, it's kind of, you know, shock value, and kind of silly, but it's a cool concept, I guess?” Rueven told The New York Times on Sunday. "But I feel like people could be doing better things with honey." She also warned of the insulin shock the body will go through after eating a large amount of sugar, saying that the result will be a "sugar high" that leads to the person "getting really shaky afterward as your blood sugar drops."
Thankfully trends come and go much faster these days, so perhaps the next viral food trend will involve housing steamed vegetables? Parents can dream, I guess.