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A new trend is taking over TikTok where people are consuming frozen corn syrup. But like many other food-related TikTok trends, this one may not be the healthiest.
In the viral videos, which began popping up toward the end of July, a creator will empty out a plastic bottle of water and fill it with corn syrup. Then, they store the bottle in the freezer for several hours, giving the syrup a gelatinous texture that the person can squeeze into their mouth.
Many of the people eating frozen corn syrup have used pink, blue, or another bright food coloring to make the syrup appear more appetizing. When it comes out of the bottle, it looks like a gleaming pillar of color.
Creators like @alanaskylerr, who has 400,000 TikTok followers and made one of the most popular videos associated with the trend, have said the chilled syrup tastes delicious.
Some of the creators have added their own riffs on the trend, like blending in Hi-C, Kool-Aid, or Starburst drink packets to add flavor to the frozen syrup. Others have dumped in Nerds candies and sprinkles.
The most popular videos associated with the trend have amassed hundreds of thousands of views and the hashtag most commonly used with corn syrup challenge videos, #frozencornsyrup, has notched over 17 million views.
Eating too much corn syrup can lead to health issues
According to CookingLight, regular corn syrup — which most TikTokers doing the trend appear to be using — is not nearly as unhealthy as high-fructose corn syrup, which uses fructose instead of glucose and is much sweeter than table sugar. Still, the website notes that both forms of the syrup are refined sugars and should not be consumed in excess.
Amy Shapiro, a New York City-based registered dietitian and nutritionist, told Insider that “from a nutritionist’s perspective,” eating a load of corn syrup is not healthy.
“Eating a little bit of corn syrup such as a serving, which is a tablespoon, is not detrimental,” she said. “However, the amount that is being squeezed out of the [water] bottle is way more than 1 tablespoon. When you add color and Kool-Aid to it, children will likely eat more than one serving, especially if they’re making multiple colors.”
Shapiro said that eating corn syrup will lead to a fast burst of energy, which then quickly fades and could lead to body shaking and a sweat increase. Shapiro added that consuming too much corn syrup can inflict a score of health problems, from diabetes and heart disease to fatty liver and further illness.
According to Shapiro, the frozen corn syrup gets a gelatinous texture when left in the freezer because it can never freeze, it only gets “harder and thicker.”
The corn syrup craze follows the recently viral honey challenge, where creators devoured bottles full of frozen honey, which can also be dangerous if eaten in excess. NBC News reported that downing too much frozen honey can give a person diarrhea and stomach cramping, among other potential effects.
Some creators are doing the two food challenges in tandem, mixing honey with corn syrup and then freezing it together.