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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.


  • Related Stories:

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  • World Hot Dog Eating Contest
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  • More Health and Body Info!
  • 3 Comments

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    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    skylar245
    skylar245 posted in Friends:
    "rainbowpoptart" wrote: "skylar245" wrote: Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible Then maybe try telling the principal yourself, and you should also report that the driver, teacher, and counselor haven't done anything to help you. If that fails, tell another trusted adult, like your mother. I'm sure someone you're close to would do their best to get justice. This is a major problem and it's a shame no one's done anything to help. ​No one listens to me anyway but my friends
    reply about 11 hours
    rainbowpoptart
    rainbowpoptart posted in Friends:
    "skylar245" wrote:Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible Then maybe try telling the principal yourself, and you should also report that the driver, teacher, and counselor haven't done anything to help you. If that fails, tell another trusted adult, like your mother. I'm sure someone you're close to would do their best to get justice. This is a major problem and it's a shame no one's done anything to help.
    reply about 11 hours
    skylar245
    skylar245 posted in Friends:
    "rainbowpoptart" wrote: "skylar245" wrote: My bus driver does NOTHING about it EVEN IF HE SEE'S IT! he only wrote the two girls up but not the girl that hit me Then report them to a teacher or the school counselor. Behaviour like that is not acceptable in the slightest. ​Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible
    reply about 11 hours
    rainbowpoptart
    rainbowpoptart posted in Friends:
    "skylar245" wrote:My bus driver does NOTHING about it EVEN IF HE SEE'S IT! he only wrote the two girls up but not the girl that hit me Then report them to a teacher or the school counselor. Behaviour like that is not acceptable in the slightest.
    reply about 11 hours
    skylar245
    skylar245 posted in Friends:
    "rainbowpoptart" wrote: "skylar245" wrote: Rainbowpoptart they don't just say things, it CAN get physical for a few days! like once someone punched me in shoulder because I blocked them hitting my stomach, and two girls who shall remain nameless fought on the bus, Physical? Well my gosh, report them to an authority figure! You can't let them get away with that kind of stuff. ​My bus driver does NOTHING about it EVEN IF HE SEE'S IT! he only wrote the two girls up but not the girl that hit me
    reply about 11 hours