A new TikTok trend has people freezing honey — and it’s leaving some experts concerned.
Eating too much of the sweet stuff can cause diarrhea, stomach pain and other complications, dietitians and doctors told multiple news outlets this week.
Here’s what to know about the trend and whether it’s safe.
In the past few weeks, the social media platform TikTok has been flooded with videos that show people filling plastic bottles with honey and putting them in the freezer. Some users then squeeze out the golden, now solidified substance and sink their teeth right in.
And people can’t get enough of the short clips. As of Wednesday, tens of millions of people had viewed content with the hashtags #frozenhoney and #frozenhoneychallenge.
“I actually have seen the videos, a few times,” Dr. Niket Sonpal, a gastroenterologist and adjunct assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York, told Nexstar Media Group. “And the minute I saw it, my first thought was, ‘That is a lot of sugar, that is a lot of honey, and that is a lot of diarrhea.’”
TikTok didn’t immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment about the trend on Thursday. Some app users in their videos said they didn’t feel well after trying frozen honey.
One concern is that people in some videos are consuming so much of the sticky substance at once. Eating large amounts from the bottle can lead to bloating, cramps and diarrhea, according to Shape magazine.
“Honey is great, but having it in small amounts to sweeten is really a healthy relationship with food, and using it to get a lot of followers and a lot of attention and having it in excess amounts is crazy,” Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic, told NBC News.
Another concern is that about one-third of people live with fructose intolerance, which means their intestines have trouble absorbing fructose. In those cases, ingesting too much honey can cause diarrhea and discomfort, NBC News reported.
As the honey thickens, it can also be “brutal” on your mouth, creating a risk for breaking teeth or causing decay, according to Health and other media outlets.
Another thing parents should consider is that children under 1 should never eat honey due to the rare threat of botulism.
For adults, experts say the bottom line is it should be OK to eat the frozen honey in small amounts if you don’t have diabetes.
Registered dietitian Christy Harrison told Shape she doesn’t “see it having any long-term side effects if you’re just eating it as a tasty dessert on a hot day, and listening to your body to tell you when you’ve had enough.”