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Zero Appetite for Dangers of ‘Competitive Eating’

August 15th, 2019 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Let’s get this straight right off: There is no future for competitive eating. It is tacky, gross, wasteful and Just Plain Dangerous, with links not only to chronic medical conditions but also to fatalities.

You perhaps have viewed, via television, one of the episodes of professional gluttony. Hot dogs are the preferred edible but other contests have been known to center on hamburgers, pie, pizza, chicken wings, asparagus …

And, also, tacos.

Like the tacos a man in central California was bolting during an amateur taco-eating contest at the Fresno Grizzlies baseball stadium on August 13.

Which apparently led to the death of the 41-year-old man, perhaps from a clogged airway, according to a spokesman for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Coroner office, the Fresno Bee newspaper reported.

The amateur contest was meant to be a sample of what was to come during a professional eaters competition in Fresno later in the week. A year ago, the winner ate 73 tacos in eight minutes.

That event has been cancelled.

Let’s for a moment set aside issues of gluttony, in a world where many are starving, or the obesity that comes from overeating, and cut to the dangers of the “sport” that gained lots of attention over the past four-plus decades “thanks” to Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, held at Coney Island every Fourth of July.

According to the wiki item on competitive eating, competitive eaters are in the business of stretching their stomachs to contain the enormous (and thoroughly unnatural) amounts of food and portions of water taken in during competition.

Competitive eating can cause multiple health issues, including perforations of the stomach, water intoxication, stomach paralysis and chronic indigestion, nausea and vomiting.

The man who died in Fresno is at least the fourth fatality in competitive eating.

This is not a recipe for amusement, not when a man can collapse in front of a baseball crowd, and die minutes later.

We have no indication that anyone actually enjoys stretching their stomachs to win eating contests, nor do we know about anyone saying “that tasted good” or “give me another, please” when the gorging ends. Not even Joey Chestnut, the semi-famous record holder at the Coney Island event; he ate 74 hot dogs in 2018 to set a record that does not need to be broken. Or even approached. Or appreciated.

That is enough competitive eating. It can go away now — before the next disaster,


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