The rise of TikTok and foodie videos

Written by on 19th April 2024

Why are food videos so entertaining?

With the recent rise of TikTok – what I eat in a day videos are becoming the new big trend. 

These short videos have become so popular over the past few years that it’s created problems.

It is very easy for people on social media to compare what they are eating to what they see different people eat online. It’s very easy to think that I eat more and then start doubting yourself. However, there is something so satisfying in watching what people eat. 

There are two types of food videos online though; there are just what I eat in a day videos or there are calorie challenges such as the 10k calorie challenge. These videos can be seen as a lot more damaging as it’s promoting binging and if there is no disclaimer it is a challenge, which may encourage people to think this is normal for them. 

On Instagram there are 341K posts under the hashtag “Food challenge” and “WIEIAD” has 114K which shows the huge level of interest and these videos are easy to find. However, on TikTok there are 437.7K videos for “WIEIAD” and “food challenge” there is 498.9K videos showing it is more popular to post these videos on TikTok. There aren’t as many videos/posts under the hashtags including the word “calorie”. This could be because this word is more triggering or as people know people might not watch the videos with mention of calories.  

Even with ‘WIEIAD’ videos there can be mention of calories which can be very triggering for people in recovery. However, most influencers don’t promote this type of style anymore as it pushes audiences away. 

We asked Joe Shaw who has 33.6k on TikTok and mainly posts ‘what I eat in a day’ videos. We asked him what he thought the difference was between food challenges and what I eat in a day and he said:

I personally believe that a standard WIEIAD is more positive than specific food challenges and calorie challenges. 

“For example, in my WIEIAD videos, I don’t mention calories at all as this would be triggering for both myself and potential members of my audiences. I’m able to talk about food in a positive and comfortable way without potential triggers (for both myself and the audience). Therefore, the content-creating experience is way more fun for me and in tandem, enjoyable for my audience.”

With Joe’s positive videos in mind, this may be why people find WIEIAD so entertaining and Joe said:

“I get a lot of comments saying that my attitude towards food and my content helps people that are going through recovery for eating disorders, which is super heartwarming, and makes me feel proud that I’m able to help people if only a little bit. This is why I ensure to keep my channel a positive place for those who come.” 

With food challenges, you know the calories and especially if you didn’t know the calories you may not want to eat that food again. Food challenges just aren’t realistic, if you make them fun and disclaim it’s just for a challenge then fair enough but WIEIAD videos are more comforting.

When asking Joe why he thinks his video’s personal videos are so popular he said:

“I think my videos are relatable and realistic and people have an easy time watching them as they see me as a friend figure. I bring people into my day-to-day and chat with the audience as if I know them personally, engaging with them and asking questions.

“Also, I think people just want to look at nice food online, 1) for inspiration but 2) sometimes when you’re hungry, looking at pics and videos of tasty food is the only option.”

I think from personal experience WIEIAD videos, especially Joe’s it is something comforting to watch someone else eat and to show it is alright to eat!

For example, in Google Trends very recently the search for “What I eat in a day” has spiked especially during January. However, it does show it is a popular trend and will stay quite consistent throughout 2024. 

However, as a little experience Josh Cowey, a regular gym-goer, wanted to take part in a food challenge. In the video linked he completed the 10K calorie challenge. It should be noted that Josh is training for his first bodybuilding competition, and this may seem a bit strange as there’s not one veggie or fruit in sight, but his reasoning was very interesting when asking him.

Josh said “I’ve just always wanted to do it. I love food so why not; it also helps to give me more energy for a hard day at the gym tomorrow!”

Seeing Josh’s perspective of a food challenge is interesting as it’s a very positive outlook and he sees food as something to enjoy. He said, “it’s not a common thing I do and I wouldn’t recommend it but I did it just for fun.”

In conclusion, there’s always going to be something comforting about watching people eat as who doesn’t love food! Certain videos can be damaging but now with certain restrictions no one should feel restricted by what someone else is eating. 

Let us know your thoughts at @sparksunderland on Instagram. 

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