Skye Wheatley, 22-year-old former Big Brother contestant, uploaded a video to her YouTube channel this week titled “10,000 calorie challenge”.
In kilojoules, that’s 41, 840 – more than five times the recommended daily intake for an adult woman.
Wheatley filmed herself over 24 hours eating noodles, McDonalds, Starbursts, Oreo Easter eggs, a block of chocolate, a container of Nutella, a packet of Oreos, Reese’s pieces, V Energy drinks, a frappe, cordial, pistachios and a calippo.
The video goes for 25 minutes, and includes “body updates”, where Wheatley examines herself side on, horrified by her increasingly bloated stomach.
My ???? is amazing @tea.louise.ev my face is completely different on each side, the left side of my face says I would never do anything to hurt you and the right side of my face says I’m fierce and I will eat you if you get in my way ???????? p.s that little brown dot on my face was a pimple, and is now a scab so I’m just embracing it for the short time it will stay on my cheek. I’m starting to become quite fond of my little scab ???? #dailythoughts #justsharing #imweird #personalityisintelligence
“It’s making me feel so sick,” Wheatley says in the first few minutes. “My face feels so fat…” she notes after eating McDonalds. Her boyfriend turns to her at one point and says, “That’s just so disgusting what you’re eating… your skin’s going to go rotten.”
Indeed, ‘disgusting’ seems to be the theme of the video. The word is repeated at least five times, and Wheatley argues that it’s “an experiment” to prove what this “shit does to your body”.
By the end of the video, Wheatley says she has developed a “sickly cough”, and can “feel [her] immune system failing.”
But Wheatley is hardly the first to undergo this sort of ‘challenge’.
It all began with the South Korean practice of ‘mukbang’.
In 2015, NPR reported. “Koreans have an insatiable appetite for watching strangers binge eat,” and explored the case study of Rachel Ahn who would sit down at 9pm every week night, to live stream herself eating enough food to feed a family of six.
In the same year, the 10,000 calorie diet challenge emerged on YouTube, with people consuming enormous amounts of food.