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Effects of Competitive Eating

It's the Fourth of July and that means picnics, parades, fireworks... and hot dog eating contests. The most famous eating competition is Nathan's International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest. In 2007, six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi wasn't able to defend his title and lost out to Joey Chestnut, who hoovered a world record-breaking 66 hot dogs in a mere 12 minutes! He walked away with $10,000, Nathan's Mustard Belt and a year's supply of hot dogs, but let's check out how his digestive system is handling it all...

Hoovering and Your Health

While obesity remains one of the country's biggest health concerns, people are bingeing for sport and eating mass quantities of hot dogs, mini-burgers, pies, chili, chicken wings and even cow brains - typically in 15 minutes or less. Competitive eaters train by eating huge meals, stuffing themselves with cabbage, or drinking lots of water in one sitting in order to stretch out their stomachs. They advise kids not to try it at home since it requires a lot of training. But with 11 million Americans suffering from bulimia and anorexia and 25 million more suffering from binge eating (according to the National Eating Disorders Association), competitive eating only encourages this harmful behavior.

How Much Can a Stomach Handle?

So far, medical studies haven't been able to prove that competitive eating seriously damages your stomach. This may be due to the stomach's resilience and elasticity. However, some doctors argue that repeated stretching can weaken its ability to function properly and may no longer be able to return to its normal size. That means that the food you eat will stay in your stomach longer than normal, causing nausea, vomiting and acid reflux disease. As well, forced or repeated vomiting can tear your esophagus, causing food to leak out as you swallow and result in infections. However, competitive eaters say vomiting is rare. Instead, they say all it takes to relieve the meat sweats after a competition is just a few trips to the bathroom and a good burp.

Did You Know?

  • If you eat 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes, like 2007 champ Joey Chestnut did, you'll consume 19,602 calories. So in one sitting, you'll be eating more than a week's worth of calories, seven times the recommended daily limit for cholesterol, 20 times the daily limit for total fat and two and a half week's worth of sodium. Gross!
  • If you eat 35 bratwursts in 10 minutes, you'll consume about 10,000 calories.
  • If you eat 167 chicken wings in five minutes, you'll consume 15,968 calories. To work that off, you'd have to do 2,043 minutes of exercise. That's like 37 hours, or a day and a half, of running or swimming.


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  • 3 Comments

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    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    bnz05
    bnz05 posted in Friends:
    Hii, i want to give advice to all of you about this subject. first of all, always trust your BFF. why?, it's because she/he is the one who makes you feel like a family and always be there with you. Second, always remember your BFF where ever you are. i got this idea from my bff whose not n the same school with me. 8 February was her birthday while i said happy birthday to her 2 day later (i know i'm the worst). i literally panicked and said sorry to her like a thousand times. while she said "it's okay, i'm glad someone in your school (because some of us transfers here at my new school too) remembers my birthday, maybe all of them already forget me" she answered (which i'm touched). and the last, never ever betray your BFF. like i said at the start, they are like your family and will do anything for you to be happy. so keep their trust too. and that's all from me, hope it's helpful. love ya [s:sm3/1jw1]
    reply about 4 hours
    esthery27
    esthery27 posted in Friends:
    I think you should just be yourself and be patient. You will find some eventually
    reply about 6 hours
    mococospartan
    mococospartan posted in Friends:
    "mococospartan" wrote:You see i am very POPULAR at school but the truth is im popular but dont have any true friends the end 
    reply about 7 hours
    mococospartan
    mococospartan posted in Friends:
    You see i am very POPULAR at school but the truth is im popular but dont have any true friends the end 
    reply about 7 hours
    bffeaea
    bffeaea posted in Friends:
    I don't know you and I'm not exactly sure how you act, but being friendly is definitely the way to go. Don't change yourself for ANYBODY. Especially someone who you don't need to impress. Speaking of impressing, don't try, do. If you are telling a story and that happens to impress them than that's great! But don't go out of your way to try to make yourself look awesome because I'm sure you already are. Be yourself. But the most important thug now you can do is not try to make a million friends. Because personally I would rather have one AWESOME friend than a million ok friends. I hope this helped. :)
    reply 1 day