competetive eating as professional sport?

In our last session we talked about competitive eating. I personally think it is really disgusting to watch people ploughing all this food into their mouth, forcing themselves to go on eating although they are obviously almost vomiting. Most of these people or rather a lot of them are very fat, if not even obese. That’s why I decided to write about the question whether I am in favour of or against having competitive eating as professional sports. The main reason why I definitely disapprove of having competitive eating as professional sports is the sanitary aspect. I mean it just can’t be healthy to shove masses of food into your body, whereupon it is always the same kind of food. I think it would make at least a little difference if the food was not one-sided in these competitions but rather if they ate different kind of food or at best healthier food. As the competitors do not only eat the one-sided food at the day of the competition but also have to practice eating several times before the competition, I find it problematic for their health. Last week I watched a TV show called “Abenteuer Leben” which showed a few boys participating in an eating contest. They had to eat ice-cream wafers and told the viewers that eating to much of them could lead to brain damages. Still, they participated. This is something I just cannot understand. Apart from the sanitary aspect, there is the fact that you gain a lot of weight automatically through these competitions, as you eat masses of greasy food over and over again. Gaining weight of course also means harming the health, as for instance increasing the risk of a heart attack, a high blood pressure or a high cholesterol level, to mention only a few of the risks. However, what I am aiming for is the fact that people fatten up through all these food masses. This means either staying fat or taking the trouble to lose all the weight to look “good” again, as we know that being fat or obese or looking grotesque in a way is considered quite negative in our society. As we have already discussed in class, fat people are considered to be lazy and don’t make the effort to lose weight. Also many people think that those who are obese probably only eat cheap food like fast food or unhealthy things that are easily prepared and therefore are considered to be of a low class in our society as they cannot afford healthy food which is oftentimes more expensive. In my opinion this is not necessarily the right way to judge people, however, it shows that fat people or rather those who get fat because of taking part in eating contests, as these are the ones I am focussing on, have a lot of disadvantages, not only with regard to their health, but also in terms of their weight as well as the way they are seen by society. That’s why I have to ask myself WHY all this? Only because of a cup and a little bit of respect you earn IF you win a competition like this. I definitely think that it is not worth it. If competitive eating became a professional sport, I assume that a lot more people would take part in it in order to prove themselves in eating mountains of food in the shortest time to have the positive effect of earning fame and recognition and the negative effect of serious health problems and a plenty of kilos they have to carry. I also doubt that competitive eating could be carried out if we note that we would do sports by eating food which is considered to be sacred in many countries. I personally would not find it proper to make fun of things which we have enough and to spare and others don’t have enough to survive, apart from the fact that the food is probably not really eaten but rather vomited after the competition.




4 Responses to competetive eating as professional sport?

  1. deadanddone says:

    I definitely agree. I cannot understand why people risk their health by eating huge masses of mostly unhealthy food in little time. I mean, there is nothing positive about it (at least for me). I also would not consider competitive eating a sport or something similar, since sports generally have a positive effect on who does it, both psychologically and physically (if it is not overdone). Competitive eating does not!
    Nontheless, I would not say that competitive eating is dangerous because it makes people fat(ter). As we saw in the clips in the respective sessions, many or even most competitive eaters are quite skinny. I think that health issues rather arise because of the enormous amount of work the body has to do when he is suddenly confronted with the huge masses of food. You might be right with your closing remark that the food might be vomited after the competition.

  2. annavoigtlaender says:

    I don’t quite get how you come from eating contests to obese people. Well, of course there’s the obvious assumption: eat a lot and you’ll get bigger, but in the clips we watched, and in the texts we read the most successfull competitors were pretty slim. Take for example Sonya from South Korea, or the asian guy (I think his name was Kobayashi) and also the guy we saw in the hot dog contest clip – they’ re all slim to average sized people. I guess you can’t really say they’ re all slim, but you also definetly can’t say they’re all obese or in danger of getting so. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to criticize your opinion on any of the topics mentioned above, I just don’t see the direct connection. Besides that, your last point is interesting. The thing about wasting resources we have and others don’t for entertainment reasons. I argued with myself about that topic, because it is true, by staging eating contests we waste food, but as was mentioned in class, we do the same by organizing football games, tennis matches or car races. All these are forms of entertainment, and also all are considered sports. Especially the last one, car racings – how is it different from eating a lot? If we consider the assumption that sports should be healthy for the body car racings don’t fit into that category as well. Maybe we feel so strongly about this form of resource wasting because it is so visible to the viewer. We see the food gets wasted, but we don’t see the energy that gets wasted everyday in all kinds of luxuries and forms of entertainment others don’t have as well. And maybe we also see the direct connenction – food is necessary to live, we could deal without cars or electricity if we had to, still we would be pretty pissed if we had to do withou them. I don’t like this argument because I always feel the same way, to waste food is such a terrible thing, but considering the facts we have to admit that this is just one of the many resources we waste every day without having a bad conscience.
    Another fact concerning health is: nobody’ s forced to compete in an eating contest – people do it at their own will, at least I guess so. So let them eat unhealthy stuff, people drink, smoke, take drugs and go to Mc Donalds everyday. There are many ways of leading an unhealthy lifestyle, but no matter what you do it’s a personal choice.

    • feyruze says:

      As you’ve already written, it is obvious that if you eat a lot you’ll get bigger- there were certainly examples of slim people taking part in the eating contests, but we definitely had big people participating as well. Besides, the contests that I remember from movies or documentaries, show a lot of big people. I never mentioned that people who participate in these contests are fat, I just stressed that especially for those who are, this kind of contest could surely be dangerous in certain ways. Concerning the waste of food, I see that you compare competetive eating to other sports, as this was actually the topic I was writing about. However, as FOOD is the actual thing that the contests are about, and participants do not eat theses amounts of food out of hunger, in my opinion it IS a waste of food. Especially when we consider that they might vomit it after the contest, but this is something we cannot be sure about. It:s obious that we’re wasting a lot of other resources everyday, however, I think that there is rarely anything as important as food which is actually relevant to survive.


  3. juliapohl says:

    When I think about competitive eating, I automatically have to think about Jeff (the Strongman competitor on “My Strange Addiction”) and people who compete in Bodybuilding competitions. All of these competitions have in common that you risk your health by taking part. While competing as a strongman or bodybuilder means that you build up muscle mass and competing in a eating competition means that you build up body fat, both are often taking it to the extreme and I think the outcome is basically the same: too much of it is unhealthy, you put your body and health at risk and both, if done too much, can be addictive.

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