Monday, July 5, 2010
(left top, Takeru Kobayashi; at right, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut)
It's always surprising to see the people who win the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. You'd expect them to have bodies to match their eating habits. As Samuel Johnson once said, gluttony is the one public vice. By all rights, Takeru Kobayashi, the six-time champion, should look like a sumo wrestler. And Joey Chestnut ought to look like the Michelin Tire Man.
Are their metabolisms just so fast that they burn off everything they consume? Are their digestive systems so strong that everything just passes through without being deposited on their bodies as fat? Are their insulin levels abnormal? All of the above?
And how exactly was it that these fellows found out that they were good at eating huge quantities of food at one sitting? How does one stumble across that fact if one doesn't have a regular taste for that kind of self-destructive behavior?