Calls to ban #WaterTok and ‘What I Eat in a Day’ TikTok videos after disordered eating fears

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The hashtag #WaterTok has seen people filming ‘recipes’ using water to encourage users to drink instead of eating

An eating disorder specialist has called for a ban on TikTok’s #WaterTok trend and ‘What I Eat in A Day’ videos after claiming they encourage disordered eating among young people. Influencers are suggesting their followers drink water and flavoured ‘skinny’ syrups instead of eating meals.

The hashtag #WaterTok is used by creators who are promoting ‘recipes’ like ‘Orange Creamsicle’ and ‘Grape Gatorade’ just using water and syrups. ‘What I Eat in a Day’ videos show influencers documenting their daily meals into one video and telling their followers a calorie count at the end.

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A specialist for eating disorder charity Beat believes that the TikTok trends are “really dangerous” with the content designed to “make thoughts about disordered eating worse.” Martha, 28, said “As the trends have developed, people are using them to instruct followers to engage in the same behaviours - it’s really dangerous.”

Martha also said that eating disorders are “incredibly competitive illnesses” adding: “It’s about who looks thinner - who looks the most ill.” The specialist also warned that replacing meals with water can be dangerous.

Martha believes the #WaterTok trend could actually be rooted in a darker trend which could be ‘water loading’ which hides weight loss. Tactical ‘water loading’ is when a person drinks an excessive amount of water to appear ‘heavier’ during weight checks.

The eating disorder specialist has said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if the trend continues to develop down the path of water loading - where people drink obsessive amounts of water in order to manipulate their weight.” She has shared that people struggling with disordered need to reach out to people they trust.

For support if you have concerns or are suffering with an eating disorder visit the Beat website. For further information and support on specific eating disorders visit the Mind website.

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