The world-renowned Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition is held every Fourth of July at Coney Island in the United States. Last year, Joey Chestnut set a new record by downing 72 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
However, according a 2007 study published in The Journal of Roentgenology, eating competitions can be damaging to the human body. This study compared the body of Tim Janus, a competitive speed eating champion who could consume 36 hot dogs in 10 minutes, to a non-competitive eater with a healthy appetite.
Each man was given 12 minutes to chow down on as many hot dogs as they could. During the competition, Janus' stomach stretched and distended, but it didn't contract at all. The normal eater's stomach wasn't able to stretch as much, but it did contract. Stomach contractions are important because they help break down food in the body for digestion.
And this was only one of the abnormalities that has been seen in competitive eaters. Here’s how the sport can affect your body.
Molly Sequin contributed to this story.