Are eating contests a good idea in a nation with a weight problem?

Maybe you missed it (let’s hope), however somebody named Joey Chestnut ate 75 — that’s SEVENTY-FIVE — sizzling canine to win Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest for the 13th time in 14 years. That broke his earlier file of 74.

Oh, and he did it in 10 minutes.

It’s a doubtful distinction after all — a $10,000 prize and headlines for a feat of gluttony — however there it’s.

It seems that there’s a whole aggressive eating circuit like the recent canine contest on Coney Island, which — burp! (excuse me) — in all probability shouldn’t be shocking given America’s increasing urge for food and waistline (extra on that later) and style for competitors. Major League Eating, the skilled league of eating contests, sanctions a number of occasions — oysters in New Orleans, wings in Buffalo, tamales in Lewisville, Texas, and on it goes by the regional favorites of sliced bologna, Ramen Noodles, purple beans and rice, milk and cookies, shrimp cocktails, tacos, pork roll sandwiches, and poutine (a French-Canadian dish of French fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy).

Chestnut, the Michael Jordan of eating, has received a number of of these contests, too (he as soon as ate 39½ 10-ounce bowls of purple beans and rice in eight minutes, and 27 “Texas-sized” beef brisket sandwiches in 10 minutes).

But the occasion that made his legend is the recent canine contest. According to ESPN, which broadcasts the occasion stay, Chestnut consumed 21,750 energy in the method — about 9 occasions the beneficial energy for males for a whole day. The Nathan’s web site claimed that Chestnut consumed about 16 kilos price of sizzling canine “or as much as 42 billiard balls!” in his 2019 victory, with 73 sizzling canine.

If you winced once you watched the Paul Newman character eat 50 eggs in “Cool Hand Luke,” then don’t watch Chestnut.

Here’s his method, for these of you who need to attempt it at residence: While Chestnut — 6-foot-1, 230 kilos, give a package deal of sizzling canine or two — is placing a sizzling canine in his mouth — image a human wooden chipper — the opposite hand is soaking the bun in water, and as quickly as he’s completed with the canine he jams the bun in his mouth, and strikes on to the following canine and bun.

On the 10-point Disgusting Scale, it charges about a 13. It’s extra disgusting than an Adam Sandler film. More disgusting than a males’s restroom. And nearly as disgusting as these documentaries about quick meals and rooster farms.

According to Nathan’s, the corporate’s sizzling canine eating contest attracts greater than 40,000 followers annually and is broadcast on ESPN to just about two million viewers. But it’s important to marvel if these eating contests — and the protection a few of them get — are actually such a good idea. Americans are fats. They already overeat they usually don’t even want a money prize as incentive. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), greater than 40% of Americans are overweight and 10% are severely overweight. Obesity after all is related with a litany of well being points.

Americans have been residing off the fats of the land and now they’re the land of the fats.

According to a Vox media report, portion sizes have skyrocketed since 1950 — from 7-ounce sodas to 42 ounces, from three.9-ounce hamburgers to 12 ounces. The CDC stories that the typical restaurant meal has quadrupled. The CDC additionally stories that the weight of the typical American man 20 years outdated or older has elevated from 166.three kilos to 197.9 for the reason that 1960s, and the weight of the typical American girl has climbed from 140.2 kilos to 170.6 for the reason that 1960s.

And now we’re cheering on women and men who’re jamming sizzling canine into their faces?

Why not a cigarette-smoking contest, sponsored by Phillip Morris, so long as we’re at it? The winner is the one who can smoke probably the most cigarettes in 15 minutes. Or the primary one who will get lung most cancers. The winner’s prize contains a free chest X-ray. *Note: If any contestant follows Bill Clinton’s declare — “I didn’t inhale” — he’s robotically disqualified.

How about a weight-gaining contest? Remember the truth weight-loss present, “Biggest Loser?” This is the other. The winner will get a free hospital keep and reductions at Big and Tall. It nearly makes that inevitable coronary heart assault worthwhile.

It’s sufficient to make you skip your subsequent meal, or by no means purchase one other sizzling canine.

Some of the contestants have been “injured” whereas coaching for the eating contests with the intense overeating it calls for. Matt Stonie, the 2015 Nathan’s champion, advised USA Today afterward, “A lot of us don’t know what we’re doing. We’re just experimenting. Sometimes people go a little gung-ho, a little overboard, and hurt themselves.” He mentioned that six weeks earlier than the 2015 contest he ate as many as 60 sizzling canine 3 times a week and concluded by consuming nearly a gallon of water.

“Drinking as much water as I can afterwards till, bluntly put, I feel like I’m going to explode,” he mentioned. “It’s pushing your limits.”

Somebody cross the Tums.

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