TikTok Trend: Eating Frozen Honey and Risking Ill Effects

click to enlarge TikTok Trend: Eating Frozen Honey and Risking Ill Effects
Audra Melton/The New York Times
Honey in Atlanta, May 17, 2019. Like many social media trends, eating frozen honey — a TikTok trend that has garnered about 900 million views — comes with risks, health experts said.

By Eduardo Medina
The New York Times

Dave Ramirez squeezed the frozen bottle with both hands, watching the golden goop come out like toothpaste. Then, he took a big sticky bite.

“I’m not going to lie,” he said in a TikTok video. “That was pretty refreshing.”

Thus, the frozen honey trend was born.

The trend on TikTok has garnered about 900 million views, with creators uploading videos that show them putting honey in an empty water bottle, placing it in a freezer and then, hours later, squeezing viscous chunks into their mouth, sometimes in agony and often in delight.

The movement has quickly evolved since Ramirez’s July 9 video.

The concoctions are now made from different types of corn syrup and decorated with candies and flavors. Other versions include Chilitoloco spicy sour, bubble tea and sriracha.

“I guess this got so much attention and traction because everyone has honey at home,” Ramirez said Saturday. “People can say, ‘Oh, I have honey in my house. Let’s try it.’”

But like many social media trends, eating frozen honey comes with risks, health experts said.

Sarah Rueven, a dietitian in New York, said eating large amounts of honey could lead to stomachaches and diarrhea — consequences that some people on the app can attest to having experienced.

Eating large amounts of honey for a long period of time can be unhealthy, she said. It can lead to weight gain and be harmful to teeth.

“When you eat something that’s so high in sugar, you’re going to have an equally high insulin response, which often leads to you having that sugar high and then getting really shaky afterward as your blood sugar drops,” Rueven said.

Ramirez, who has about 5.5 million followers on TikTok, said he did not set out to start a trend. He had seen many people eat delicate, cylindrical candy on YouTube videos devoted to autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, but had failed to create his own version of that candy.

He later learned honey could help create the gooey texture he was aiming for. He placed some in a small bottle, froze it, recorded himself eating it and then read comments from followers asking what he had just eaten.

Two days later, he told his audience his secret. “This stuff is just honey,” he said.

From there, other TikTok creators curious about the texture filmed their own ASMR-like videos.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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