5 Viral Food Challenges That Were Downright Dangerous – Eat This, Not That


Train viral, whether it’s an image, Tweet, story or video, means your content spreads quickly and widely across the internet through platforms like social media and e- emails. It can get over a million views within minutes. From YouTube to Instagram to TikTok, people will do anything to get views. In some cases, people will create challenges to entice people to try them out, spreading their content around the world. Sometimes these viral tendencies turn out to be dangerous, but because the challenge was going viral, people keep doing it, even if it means causing bodily harm.

Food challenges have been a big trend that often tends to go viral. Unfortunately, not everyone is sure. We spoke with Lauren ManakerMS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPTauthor of First Time Mom Pregnancy Cookbook, The 7 Ingredient Healthy Pregnancy Cookbookand Fueling Male Fertility, to recap some of the worst dietary challenges through time. She explains why they were so bad for you, even though they were seemingly harmless. Once you’re done reading, take a look at The Most Dangerous TikTok Food Trends You Should Never Try to learn more about food splurges.


In the early 2010s, the Cinnamon Challenge was designed for people to push a spoonful of ground cinnamon into their mouths in 60 seconds without drinking any liquid to wash it down. What sounds like a pretty easy task on paper actually has more side effects than you might think.

“People can gag or choke on the cinnamon, which can be extremely dangerous,” says Manaker. “Additionally, inhaling large amounts of cinnamon can damage the lungs.”

According Minnesota for kids, choking on cinnamon by inhaling it can cause inflammation of the lungs, as well as thickening of lung tissue and scarring. If this happens, it can lead to pneumonia, collapsed lung, or permanent lung damage.

Carolina Reaper Pepper

You may remember the “Ghost Pepper Challenge” or “Hot pepper challenge“, which peaked around 2012. The idea was to eat a whole ghost pepper with nothing to dull the heat. Well, if you thought that was extreme, the Carolina Reaper made it even worse.

In 2017, the Carolina Reaper was considered the hottest pepper in the world by Guinness World Records. So, of course, people had to start trying to eat them whole.

“Some people may not tolerate these very hot peppers and may experience a seizure, vomiting and, in extreme cases, even death,” Manaker explains.

Pretend to eat tide pods

“While tidal pods may look like attractive candy, they are made of laundry detergent,” Manaker explains. “You don’t have to be a dietitian to know that eating laundry detergent isn’t a good idea.”

Although something that might seem obvious, it hasn’t stopped people from eating tide pods in the late 2010s. According to data from the American Association of Poison CentersPoison centers received reports of nearly 220 teens being exposed to Tidal Pod capsules in 2017, with about 25% of those cases being intentional.

People who were exposed to the capsules were hospitalized for vomiting, difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness. Several deaths have also occurred during this highly questionable viral challenge.

different protein powders

If you’ve been on TikTok lately, you might have come across this trend while scrolling through your “For You” page. This is the trend that encourages people to take waterless pre-workout powders. You take a scoop of protein powder and eat it like this.

“Dry picking is linked to outcomes such as heart palpitations, lung damage, and infection from excessive inhalation,” Manaker says. “People can also have digestive issues.”

According Hackensack Meridian Health, if you consume a dry scoop of a pre-workout mix, you may also accidentally inhale some of the powder, which is not meant to be swallowed dry. Therefore, dry picking can trigger health issues such as breathing difficulties and heart attacks. Even if you are young and healthy.


Although technically not a challenge, this hack has gone viral. The hope for this trend was to prevent the avocado from developing those mushy brown spots. It meant having access to a fresher lawyer for longer.

Tik Tok shed light on the trend by stocking avocados in filled water bottles and place them in the refrigerator. Then you slice the avocados to see healthy, green, fresh fruit.

“Trying to extend the life of your avocado by putting it in water might sound like a good idea in theory,” Manaker says, but storing avocados in water can promote bacteria growth and lead to illnesses. food origin.

The FDA also accepted this, stating Newsweek that this life hack could harbor and breed harmful bacteria, such as salmonella.

Kayla Garritano

Kayla Garritano is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That! She graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and earned a double minor in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more


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