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The Fourth of July Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island is an ideal opportunity to study competitive eating. How are people large and small able to eat so much food so quickly? For example, Takeru Kobayashi, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest winner from 2001-2006, only weighs 128 pounds!?
This National Geographic piece takes a closer look at the science behind speed eating and how people with different body types are able to dominate their competition.
Are Extreme Eaters Born Or Made?
Are champion speed eaters like Takeru Kobayashi born or made? Can studying competitive eaters provide insights into the cause and prevention of indigestion and other disorders? How do some of these competitors who eat so much manage to stay relatively thin?
Researchers like Dr. Metz, have performed tests on speed eaters like Tim Janus, a Wall Street day trader and top-10 competitive eater. Dr. Metz compared stomach capacities and digestion rates of a normal person with Mr. Janus. Do professional eaters have genetically gifted bellies or have they trained their bodies to hold abnormally huge amounts of food?
Studying competitive eaters may provide medical breakthroughs that could help millions who suffer from stomach problems.
Can You Train A Stomach?
The initial results seem to indicate speed eaters may be able to condition their stomachs and digestive systems.
“You know, people have asked me often if I think you can train a stomach… I think one thing I’ve learned today is you certainly can,” Dr. Metz said.
The Dangers Of Competitive Eating
Speed eating is dangerous. Don’t enter a competitive eating contest, like Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, without consulting a doctor. Risks can include everything from stomach perforations to esophageal tears.
Source: TV Week
i’m surprised these guys don’t all puke all over each other.