China urges against 'dangerous' light bulb challenge

Man trying to fit a light bulb shaped sweet in his mouth Image copyright PEAR VIDEO
Image caption Doctors warn people they could choke or damage their jaw trying to fit the sweet in their mouth whole

Chinese doctors are warning shoppers against buying light bulb-shaped sweets for use in a dangerous online challenge, it's reported.

According to Xibu Online, users of social media platforms have been buying toffee apple-like sweets, made of granulated and malt sugar, and posting pictures and videos of themselves trying to fit the entire sweet in their mouths.

The "light bulb sweets" are 6cm in diameter and about 10cm long, and are designed to match the scale of a large household light bulb. According to Shanghai-based website Shine.cn, one online retailer on the popular Taobao website has already sold over 2,700 at 29.8 yuan ($4.50; £3.36) each, and is currently "out of stock due to increased orders with the approach of Christmas".

Doctors have strongly urged people against taking part in the trend, with Dr Xiao Cheng telling Xibu Online that the sweets could "cause choking and even suffocation".

Dr Zhang Jin'an adds that the levels of sugar in the sweet could be harmful for diabetic patients, and that "potential mechanical injury is a major concern."

"Most people are able to open their mouth to about four centimetres wide, while the bulb-shaped candy has a diameter of six centimetres," he tells Shine.cn.

Dangerous food trends

This is not the first time that Chinese doctors have warned users against taking part in a dangerous online trend involving food.

In July 2016, media warned users against taking part in "the rotating corn challenge", a social media challenge that involved mounting a cooked corn on the cob onto the end of a drill and trying to eat it.

Users condemned the trend as "completely unsafe", especially after video circulated showing one man accidentally drill his front teeth out, and another woman have her hair ripped from her scalp.

Image copyright PEAR VIDEO
Image caption The sweet has been designed to match the size of a large household light bulb

Reporting by Kerry Allen

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