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Nicholas Perry, better known to his YouTube audience as Nikocado Avocado looked very different in 2016 to how he does today. How did he put on so much weight in only a few years? And why is he wearing a mask?

Who is Nikocado Avocado?

Nikocado Avocado has more than 5.5 million followers who subscribe to his various YouTube channels. There, they can watch him eat large amounts of food. Before starting his career as an online extreme eater, Nicholas was a vegan who weighed about 68 kg (150 lb). He lived in New York City as a struggling violinist with dreams of working on a Broadway show. When that didn’t pan out, he turned to creating videos about his vegan lifestyle. He eventually quit veganism, citing frustration with the vegan community as well as his changing views on eating animal products. He also blamed some of his health concerns, including a rotted tooth, vitamin B-12 deficiency and low blood sugar levels.
So, he decided he needed a healthier diet. And a certain Korean YouTube trend caught his eye.


Mukbang

In Korean culture, eating is considered a social activity. For those who were alone, creating videos of themselves eating while talking to viewers became a way of replicating the social experience. Known as mukbang, the trend started in 2010. The term combines the Korean words for eating, meokneun, and broadcast, bangsong. It’s a sometimes stomach-churning phenomenon that literally translates as “eating broadcast”. But many of its participants have taken this eating show to an extreme in order to gain viewers. Including Nikocado Avocado.

Avocado’s Journey

In 2016, Nikocado started doing more extreme eating stunts. Everything from wolfing down the entire White Castle menu, having a 4,992 calorie cheat day at Carl’s Jr., and exhorbitant amounts of painfully spicy food. Part of the appeal of watching Nikocado for some viewers seems to be his frequent on-camera meltdowns. In an interview in 2018, he told a fellow mukbanger that he has been in therapy since the age of 5 and on antidepressants since he was 7. He also said that soon after he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Within four years of becoming a mukbanger, he nearly doubled his weight to 145 kg (320 lb). That’s more than 19 kg (42 lb) per year to go along with a body mass index, or BMI, of 50.1.

Nikocado’s Health

A person with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. And Nikocado’s body has grown significantly during his mukbang journey. Obesity can lead to several health issues, including sleep apnea. This condition is caused when the muscles in your throat relax too much, leading to the blockage of the airway during sleep. This can lead to snoring, insomnia and dangerously increased levels of carbon dioxide in your blood. The extreme eater has been seen in recent videos wearing a CPAP mask, which is used by sufferers of sleep apnea to force air into their lungs. But this isn’t his only health concern. Obesity has also been linked to lower bone density. In September 2021, Nikocado reported that he suffered three broken ribs after an extended period of “excessive, forceful coughing.” And in April 2022, the YouTuber posted a video expressing his worry that he might have cancer. He had testicular pain but tests were inconclusive. Obesity can also increase the risk of a number of cancers, including colon, kidney and gallbladder.


Mukbang Dangers

Excessive overeating can lead to various other dangerous health issues, including liver disease and chronic acid reflux. In November 2020, Nikocado said he was quitting YouTube in order to take care of his deteriorating health. It wasn’t long before he was back online. Some of Niko’s fellow YouTubers have expressed concern that he is risking his life for some clicks. Whether he is or not, extreme eating is not something we recommend. It can have dire consequences for your health and well-being. While mukbang may be a positive experience and career for some, if you have an eating disorder, we recommend you seek professional counseling. Eating too much, or too little, can have dangerous effects on your health.


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