George Hale Talks Eating Contest 

Earlier this week, TV5’s Terry Stackhouse took on the Nite Show’s Dan Cashman in a burger battle.

Neither finished, but that’s not the point.

George Hale is here with his take on eating competitions.

We’ve all gone the country fair where they have a pie eating contest.

Contestants, usually with their hands behind them, dive face first into a blueberry or apple pie trying to win a prize

It may be messy but its good clean fun.

There’s nothing more patriotic than going to camp or beach in the July and August days of summer and have a picnic, but something else is going on these days.

Eating contests are suddenly the rage.

Believe it or not there is a ruling body and professional eaters who have a following and actually train for these contests.

If that isn’t bad enough some of the events are televised.

Of course we have all heard of the July 4th Nathan’s hot dog event on Coney Island in New York but that’s just the beginning.

You name the food and someone will put together a contest to see who can shove the largest amount down their throats in the shortest time.

You have pie, watermelon, donuts, pizzas, wings and yes pickle events.

Some of this insanity is harmless but a lot of it is not.

A 47 year old man competitive eater died during a hot dog competition in South Dakota on July 3rd.

He choked on one of the hot dogs.

Two years ago a man in Florida died during a contest eating worms.

There have been deaths from other events including dumplings.

On July 4th Joey Jaws Chestnut stuffed 61 hot dogs down his gullet in just ten minutes to win the Nathan’s event.

It was his 8th title.

If you do the math he consumed 10,000 calories, 1000 grams of fat, 28 grams of sodium and I’m not including the buns  or the massive amount of water he used to soak the globs of food now I’m no doctor but it’s not hard to figure some things out.

Stomachs become overstretched and twisted, there is the chance of choking, aspiration plus seizures and it goes on and on.

The pancreas and liver can fail when trying to accommodate this horrendous amount of food.

So here is my question.

Why in the world would anyone participate in these events and why would a national sports network televise this disgusting attempt.

I agree that there a only a small number of people who call themselves professional competitive eaters.

However, amateurs get caught up in it also.

What kind of message are we sending to a nation of generally obese people and the thousands around the world who go hungry everyday?

It simply floors me.

The average human stomach is just about the size of two fists and can contain a liter or so of volume.

That’s normal we all overeat on occasion but this example of gluttony is nutty.

Ok, I know some of you are saying that a couple of local events for charity didn’t hurt anyone, and you’re right I wouldn’t do it.

It is now hitting the restaurant trade.

I eat in Florida restaurant where if you can eat a huge steak, the size of cows butt, you don’t have to pay, and you get a tee shirt.

Are you kidding me?

A free trip to the cardiologist would be a better option.

The world produces enough food to feed everyone but 870 million go to bed hungry every night.

There are a lot of images America can and should be sending to the country and world.

Cramming food down our throats and calling it sport is certainly not one of them.

I’ll see you at the salad bar!

This is George Hale with my perspective on sports.