The Hot Dog Eating Contest; Is it Real or is it a Gimmick?
By Bob Branco
July 9, 2021
Most of you are familiar with the annual hot dog eating contest, which is held on the Fourth of July. In recent years, a man named Joey Chestnut has won the contest by eating the most hot dogs of any contestant. Did he really eat them, or is there something else going on with this contest that I don’t know about? I think I know something about the human body, and how our metabolism works. When I hear that Joey Chestnut eats 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes, I can’t help but wonder how he physically does it. I heard that he drinks a lot of water to help the process, but there is still the physicality of eating hot dogs that quickly. I did the math. If you eat 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes, that translates to 7.6 hot dogs per minute, or 1 hot dog in 8 seconds. Keep in mind that these contestants eat the bun as well as the hot dog, so technically speaking; Joey Chestnut ate 76 hot dogs and 76 buns in 10 minutes. Really?
On Sunday, my wife and I attended a cookout where I ate 3 hot dogs. After that, I couldn’t eat any more. It took me about three minutes to eat one hot dog. There was no way I could have eaten it any faster, or I would have been sick to my stomach.
Sometimes I wonder if there is a gimmick with this contest based on what I know about our metabolism, and how much food we can handle all at once. If there is no gimmick, then Joey Chestnut has a super digestive system that no other human being possesses. What else can I think? Just imagine the concept of eating 1 hot dog every 8 seconds. You can drink all the water in the Atlantic Ocean, but I still don’t think that this helps you digest food to that extreme or physically put more in your mouth a lot faster.
Allow me to make another point. Our stomachs can only hold so much food to begin with. Without being graphic, most of us need to go to the bathroom in order to get rid of the food in our bodies that we normally eat. Furthermore, how can our stomachs hold 76 hot dogs and 76 buns at one time? I don’t think our intestines can hold all of that. The hot dogs would likely have to go in one end and out the other as fast as possible in order for us to keep as much food in our bodies with the limited capacity that we have. If you are going to attend the hot dog eating contest, remember to bring a fresh supply of portable toilets. There isn’t a brand of Depends large enough to bail these contestants out.
Oh, I’ve heard it all. Joey Chestnut drinks plenty of water, and that’s how he manages to eat so fast. To me, it’s not about the water. It’s about how fast you can physically eat, and how much food your digestive track allows you to process all at once.
It would not surprise me if I learn that the hot dog eating contest was designed to promote a special brand of hot dog, and to convince us that if we love it so much, we can devour multiple dogs in seconds. If I’m wrong, then there had to be a major part of physiology class that my instructor never taught us, which is, how to cram 76 hot dogs in your body without the need to poop them all out, or how to do it without becoming extremely ill, nauseated or dead. However, if this contest is real, then I want to see Joey Chestnut’s medical records. They probably take up the space of an entire edition of Webster’s dictionary. Imagine if Chestnut had to go for a colonoscopy two days after the contest. During prep the day before, his back side would be like Niagra Falls or Old Faithful.