Science category

Competitive eating academic paper available

Kay McArdle announces that a paper titled It’s not what you eat but how and that you eat: Social media, counter-discourses and disciplined ingestion among amateur competitive eaters by Emma-Jayne Abbots and Luci Attala of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David is available for $19.95. The first two sentences of the abstract are:

This article interrogates how social media can provide a platform for contesting dominant discourses. It does so through the lens of competitive eating, demonstrating that amateur competitive eaters use social media sites to challenge and subvert mass media representations of their sport while concomitantly upholding normative notions of healthy eating and bodies.

Was anyone interviewed for this article? (I received no information requests.)


KSTE has a podcast of an interview with author Mary Roach focusing on the competitive eating section of her book, Gulp.
Huffington Post has a blog entry titled "Black Hole's Appetite Awes Competitive Hot Dog Eaters"  about George Shea's request for use of the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.  
Joey Chestnut has been nominated for the "Outstanding New Limit" category of ESPN's Sport Science Newton Awards, which will be announced tomorrow on the 5 pm eastern edition of Sportcenter. One of Joey's rivals for the category is marathon swimmer Diana Nyad, who wrote an anti-competitive eating column for the Huffington Post last year.
Scientific American asks "How does competitive eating represent us as Americans?"
Thrillist has an interview with Matt Stonie and Dr. Connor O'Brien of Stanford about the best strategies for finishing eating challenges.
Smithsonian Magazine has a report on the Naga King Chili Pepper eating contest held in Kisama, India which includes information about the science of spicy food. also has an article about spicy food competitions.
Erik Denmark is interviewed in Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, a new book by Mary Roach. Other people mentioned in the competitive eating section of the book include Tim Janus, Takeru Kobayashi and Ben Monson.
The Google Lunar X Prize team will live stream a moon pie eating contest today at 11 am Pacific / 2 pm eastern at The award will pay $30 million to the first privately funded team to send a robot to the moon.
Smithsonian Magazine has a blog entry about the Scoville Scale used to rank the spiciness of food.
Jon "Super" Squibb will compete against a pig in a corn eating contest for an upcoming episode of Animal Science.
One copy of the article about the Wing Bowl by Faye Flam from January still lists Ed "Cookie" Jarvis as the subject of Dr. David Metz' study of competitive eating. Tim Janus was the actual subject (Another copy has been corrected) update Feb 18 has a correction notice.
Yahoo Sports has a video about boxer Manny Pacquiao's nutrition and diet, which consists of 7000-8000 calories a day.
Live Science asks the question "Can Eating Too Much Spicy Food Kill You?" (via NY Daily News)
A Huffington Post blog entry asks the question, "Are Competitive Speed Eaters Like Pythons?"
Some ESPN Nathan's links:
Matt Cohen will appear on tonight's episode of Car Science on Speed TV at 10 pm eastern, which will have a segment about eating while driving.
The New York Times science section has an article about how humans enjoy eating spicy peppers.
The black widow spider is not the only suitable mascot for a female competitive eater. Etoxin states that the female angler fish can eat a meal twice her size in one bite. This would be equivalent to a 120 pound woman eating a 240 pound burger.

“Humanly Impossible” competitive eating clip

The segment from last night’s episode of Humanly Impossible featuring competitive eaters “Furious” Pete Czerwinski and Will Millender (called Willie) has been captured and uploaded. Dr. David Metz, who has appeared in previous programs about competitive eating, provides commentary.

HumanlyImpossible.wmv 9 minutes, 10.4 MB

Comments (16)

“Humanly Impossible” press release

Will Millender’s twitter has a link to a press release promoting the December 6 episodes of Humanly Impossible on the National Geographic Channel. The paragraph about competitive eaters follows:

Pete Czerwinski and Will Millender are speed eaters who can down more than 20 hamburgers in five minutes. These elite competitors are capable of eating up to three times the amount of food that someone with a normal stomach could handle. Using a real-time X-ray device, Humanly Impossible takes a look inside their bodies to uncover the secrets behind their gastrointestinal prowess.

Will Millender says
he has another possible upcoming appearance on network TV.

Comments (5) Humanly Impossible will be televised on the National Geographic channel on December 6. The program will have a segment with competitive eaters Will Millender and "Furious" Pete Czerwinski.
(from Will Millender's twitter) "Furious" Pete Czerwinski and Will Millender will appear in a program on the National Geographic network on December 7.
(via The Science of Speed Eating which was televised in 2007 on the National Geographic Network is available on hulu. Sonya Thomas, Tim Janus and Loren "Bubba" Yarbrough were the featured eaters.

Apollo 11 & oatmeal eating contest

According to The First Men in the Moon, the winner of an oatmeal eating contest (John Coyle from Ireland w/23 bowl in 10 minutes) was one of the earthside news items relayed to the crew of Apollo 11. Michael Collins responded that he would like to enter Buzz Aldrin in the next oatmeal eating contest (via


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