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joey chestnut



Competitive Eating Grows in Popularity, and So Do the Potential Risks

The Olympic torch is still warm as many of us are still caught up in the spirit of the Games. The proof can be seen in retail, where swim, athletic shoe, and sport stores are seeing increased sales. We all have been inspired and want to let our competitive hearts seek greatness, too. But some aspire to greatness in a completely non-athletic, gut-busting way.

One event we didn’t see in London that will doubtfully ever grace an Olympic stage is gaining popularity at high rates in the U.S. That event is the “sport” of competitive eating. The roots of these types of events are nearly as ancient as the original Grecian games. A legend of a 13th century slave defeating the Norse god Loki by eating his plate is the earliest noted eating competition. However, in the U.S., these battles have only grown popular in the last 100 years or so.

NPR reported on their food blog, “The Salt,” that the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest on Coney Island was watched by 40,000 spectators this year. That’s up from about 1,000 viewers 15 years ago. Clearly, we’re intrigued by this gluttonous event many call “sport.” There are TV shows devoted to various food challenges, and many restaurants are creating their own variations to live up to the demand.
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Joey Chestnut Starves Himself Prior to Winning Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

July 4th means fireworks, cookouts, and for some the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Every year on July 4th, Coney Island holds Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest where participants eat as many hot dogs as possible in 10 minutes. On Wednesday, Joey Chestnut won the hot dog eating contest for the sixth consecutive year. The man ate 68 hot dogs… sounds appetizing right?

I could barely finish the five BBQ chicken wings I had last night at our family’s Fourth of July cookout. I can only imagine where this man puts his food!

Well, fortunately this morning on the TODAY show Joey offered his secrets to scarfing down 68 hotdogs and buns. Joey’s girlfriend makes him 70 hotdogs and he tries to eat as much as he can within 10 minutes. And he tries to eat a little more each day than his previous attempt. Three days before the big hot dog eating contest Joey does not eat anything to prepare himself for all the hot dogs he will devour.
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Joey Chestnut Wins Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest by Eating 16,052 Calories

I’m sure most Americans had a hot dog yesterday. Some might have had two. Joey Chestnut? He ate 54. In just ten minutes at the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, he stepped up to the table and won once again by consuming 54 hot dogs (with buns) in the time it takes to cook a few on the grill.

There’s one word to sum up this gastronomic spectacle: gross.

There’s also one number to sum it up: 16,052.

That’s the number of calories consumed in 54 Nathan’s hot dogs and 54 buns. That’s more than eight days worth of calories.
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