Death + Humor Death + Popular Culture

Day 8: Hot Dog Eating Contests Can Kill You (in South Dakota)

South Dakota man dies after choking during hot-dog eating contest
Walter Eagle Tail, 47, died at a hospital on Thursday after attempts to save him at the scene failed, police said
Associated Press (July 8, 2014)

I was writing a verbose and longish post about radical life extension today but then this story about a man dying during a hot dog eating contest popped up and, well, living to 500 can wait.

I’m inclined to say that this is a mid-year entry into the annual Darwin Awards but it sounds like the gentleman who died was a decent guy. He just had some bad luck.

Out of curiosity, I started poking around the internet to see what kind of safety warnings accompanied eating contests and, lo, I was not disappointed. This WebMD article, helpfully titled Competitive Eating: How Safe Is It?, covers all the bases. Then this Time article called Here’s What Competitive Eating Does to Your Body really goes in-depth on what these contests do to your innards and made me never want to eat food again.

And while this specific story is certainly tragic, it did remind me of the hot dog eating scene in the movie Meatballs.

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