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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

    Abbergrl
    Abbergrl posted in Friends:
    I mean, not that I want to be perfect but I ust start calling myself too dum, dumb dumb dumb and yeah, the truth is  I am and not beating myself up about it exactly, but I just feel so, so dumb.
    reply 41 minutes
    Abbergrl
    Abbergrl posted in Friends:
    I don't know where else to post this, but note that this isn't related to my friends. In a small way it is but it isn't.. anyway, my problem is I've read a lot and observed people around me. I've realised the kind of mistakes they make and have learnt how to avoid some of them. I've learnt from my childhood stupidity and sillyness too, and from the past two years. But I did something that many others must have done. Problem is I feel dumb now. Not because I think myself to be superior to others but because, it's simple for them to get over it but for me it's hard. I don't want to mention what I did but I had really strong feelings and one slight word can ruin my mood in that case. I've realised my problem is that I want to be perfect and to not make mistakes. But I know that mistakes help us learn. And I just need to relax but don't know how to. I want to, unlike people who give up and submit to the darkness - no offsense. But I really, really want to. It's been tearing me apart. Please, if anyone can help me, please please help.
    reply 43 minutes
    Yoisho
    I'm in 8th grade and I ride the bus with a friend of mine. He's in 6th grade. Recently, I've had all of these weird feelings and I think I like him. He's so young but he already has a girlfriend. I couldn't get in the way of that. PLUS, everyone would make fun of me. I can't tell anyone this because I know I'll be judged.  What do I do?  :rain  :mad
    reply about 22 hours
    hardworld
    hardworld posted in Style:
    find black trousers w a good drape, wear w plain white t shirt and converse and flexx on all of them and rule the school 
    reply 1 day
    AnnaOfExquizurd
    AnnaOfExquizurd posted in Style:
    "AnnaOfExquizurd" wrote:Assuming you're around the average height for a ten-year-old, you're probably not fat. My best friend's ten-year-old sister weighs close to that much, and she looks nowhere near fat. But even if you're shorter than most, I wouldn't worry about it until a lot later in your life, because kids tend to "grow into" their weight. BMI isn't always accurate, too, though; my BMI marks me as overweight, but I'm told by lots of people I'm average-looking.If you want to worry about it now anyways, I'd talk to a pediatrician or your parents or some other adult before taking action, and listen to any advice they may have. Made a typo first time around. Fixed it. First sentence said "weight" instead of "height".
    reply 1 day