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The carnivore diet: deception in bulk

By Vira Patil Sept. 28, 2023

Imagine eating raw meat every day with no cheat days, cutting out fruit, vegetables and grains completely. This is reality for some, including social media star Brian “Liver King” Johnson, who maintains that carnivorism helps bring “strength and happiness back in society.”

The carnivore diet consists of strictly animal products, including beef, chicken and cheese. Through his videos on TikTok and Instagram, Liver King claims that the diet hypermasculates men and promotes it as an ancestral, traditional lifestyle. He also credits this idiosyncratic diet for his robust build and preaches that eating entirely meat can result in ripped muscles and higher testosterone levels. By advertising his

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body as the product of the carnivore diet, Liver King has accumulated over five million followers on TikTok and a $12 million yearly salary, as stated by the U.S. Sun. However, unbeknownst to many followers, he spends $11,000 per month on performance-enhancing drugs in order to build the body he attributes to the carnivore diet, as reported by ABC News.

The carnivore diet excludes all plant-based foods, many of which contain crucial nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A, for instance, is a vital component in the proper functioning of the heart, eyes and lungs.

Protein forms the building blocks of muscle tissue, so it is widely believed that eating massive amounts of protein will help build muscle fast. The average person only needs 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, as stated by the British Heart Foundation, but the carnivore diet promotes the consumption of two to three times that amount.

“The underlying assumption that meat is the only way to get protein might contribute to the carnivore diet’s popularity in mainstream media. Healthier foods such as vegetables also provide important nutrients and proteins that the human body needs,” Senior Avi Bansal said.

Furthermore, societal pressure to achieve the “perfect body” is prevalent in today’s culture, leading young men to follow those who have obtained these outcomes regardless of the method and its risks. According to the magazine Rolling Stone, influencers such as Joe Rogan and Tucker Carlson promote eating as much protein and cholesterol as possible, stating that this diet is not only about health, but also returning to the traditional definition of a “man.”

While these influencers promote the diet, there is no scientific evidence to prove any of its supposed benefits. The diet’s supposed benefits may instead be a manifestation of the placebo effect, where a treatment appears beneficial due to one’s belief in it, as per the BBC.

“The carnivore diet is influential because it appears to hypermasculate its participants—when people see others following a trend they view it as trustworthy and do the same. However, eating raw meat can lead to illnesses such as salmonella and clostridium perfringens,” Junior Ryan Mousavi said.

Promoted by influencers Liver King and Joe Rogan, evidence that supports the benefits of the carnivore diet remain inadequate. Controversy about the diet continues to persist in the media, with its health effects still in debate.


About the Contributors

Vira Patil staff writer

Vira Patil is a junior at Leland high school, and this is her first year as a staff writer on The Charger Account. During her free time, she enjoys to binge TV shows, spend time with her family, and play the piano.

Mingyue Xiao artist Mingyue Xiao is a freshman at Leland High School and is an artist for The Charger Account. She does dance, pottery and loves to read.

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