While we love it for all the memes and entertainment it can offer, the internet can be a dark and somewhat stupid place at times.
The latter I say because of yet another worrying new trend sweeping TikTok at the moment: The Salt Challenge.
In the ‘challenge’, kids are being dared to pour salt into their mouths and down their throats as part of a dangerous new prank, because… well, who knows?
In one video, a TikTok user called Landon tipped a full container of the white stuff into his mouth, causing him to gag and immediately spit it out.
The bizarre video is captioned, ‘someone try this’, because who doesn’t love a bit of dangerous online peer pressure?
Another TikTok user, who goes by the name of Jonathan, attempted the challenge, captioning his video: ‘Salt challenge! This was disgusting.’
However, social media users should think twice before attempting the dangerous stunt, because over-consuming salt can have terrible side effects.
Speaking to the Mirror, Dr Simran Deo at UK-based online doctor Zava, said:
As a doctor, I would strongly recommend that people do not participate in this activity. Eating too much salt is very bad for your health both immediately and in the long run.
In the short term, depending on how much you’ve ingested, eating too much salt can be poisonous.
He went on to explain this is because it dramatically raises the sodium levels in our bodies, which can cause intense thirst, confusion, nausea and vomiting.
In extreme cases, he added, ‘it can also lead to seizures, a coma or can even be fatal – as the high levels of sodium cause the brain to swell up against the inside of the skull.’
As well as citing impacts on blood pressure, heart strain and cardiovascular disease, Dr Deo said:
UK guidelines recommend limiting your salt intake to around one teaspoon a day – but lots of foods are high in salt, so it’s worth checking the labels on things like bread, crisps, pasta sauce, sausages and breakfast cereals, and swapping to lower salt options, where possible.
Basically, kids, don’t give in to these ridiculous challenges.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.