The Health Risks of Competitive Speed Eating

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  • Competitive speed eating can harm one’s health, potentially leading to choking, overeating, exposure to unhealthy foods, chronic indigestion, and dental problems. 
  • Eating large amounts of unhealthy food quickly results in stomach pain, bloating, and indigestion.
  • Eating too quickly may also lead to tooth decay, enamel erosion, cavities, and tooth loss.
  • Reverse the damage by avoiding any competitive eating event, getting a full body health checkup, eating healthy, and visiting your dentist. 

Have you ever seen a competitive speed eating contest on television or at a festival? While it may look like harmless fun from the outside, some serious health risks are associated with this activity. This blog will discuss why speed eating is risky and why you should avoid participating in the competition.

What is Speed Eating

Speed eating is an activity where participants try to consume large quantities of food as quickly as possible. It’s often done in a competitive setting, with the goal being to eat more than the other competitors. This type of activity has been popularized by television shows and festivals, where people can compete against each other for prizes or bragging rights. Some popular speed eating contests include:

  • Hotdog eating contests
  • Pizza eating competitions
  • Pie-eating challenges

Health Risks Associated With Competitive Speed Eating

It is entertaining to watch, but competitive speed eating can be dangerous to your health. At its worst, it could even lead to death. Here are some of the risks associated with competitive speed eating:


When you eat quickly, there’s a greater chance of choking on food. Choking is a serious risk and can cause death if not addressed quickly. Food particles may get lodged in the throat or windpipe, blocking airflow and leading to suffocation. According to a study, most deaths associated with competitive eating contests are caused by choking.


Another risk associated with speed eating is overeating. People often try to eat large amounts of food quickly, which can lead to serious health issues such as stomach pain, nausea, bloating, and indigestion. It should also be noted that competitive eaters must undergo “training” and prepare for events by stretching their stomachs and eating larger-than-normal amounts of food to give them an edge in the competition, making it easier to over-eat.

A man clutching his stomach, feeling bloated, with stomach pain

Exposure to Unhealthy Foods

There’s no denying that the foods used for speed eating contests are unhealthy. These include high-fat and fried foods, sugary desserts, processed meats, and other unhealthy items. Eating these foods can lead to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

Chronic Indigestion

Eating too quickly can cause chronic indigestion, where food sits in the stomach for an extended period without being digested properly. This can lead to acid reflux, gas, bloating, and other uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

Dental Problems

Competitive speed eating can also lead to dental problems such as tooth decay, enamel erosion, cavities, and tooth loss. Eating foods with high sugar quickly increases the risk of these issues. Additionally, since you must constantly bite and chew quickly to keep up with the competition, it strains your jaw muscles, leading to headaches and soreness.

Reversing the Damage

If you have participated in competitive eating for a long time, you may have developed some health problems associated with speed eating. The good news is it’s not too late to reverse the damage. Here are some things you can do to reverse the health damage done by this competition:

Avoid Joining the Next Competition

This is the first step to becoming healthy again. Avoid joining any competitive eating event, no matter how tempting it may be. It’s important to recognize the risks associated with this type of activity and consciously decide to avoid it.

Have a Full Body Health Checkup

Getting a full body health checkup and ensuring all your internal organs function properly is important. This will help identify any potential health issues that need to be addressed. Once there are confirmed health issues, follow your doctor’s order to get the necessary treatments and medications.

Start Eating Healthy

A man preparing a healthy snack in the kitchen

For sure, you have enjoyed eating too much unhealthy food during the contests, so make sure to start eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. This will help your body get the nutrients it needs and help you maintain a healthier weight. It’s never too late to start eating healthy, so do this as soon as possible.

Visit Your Dentist

Your dentist can help identify any issues that may have arisen. If the damage has been multiple and severe, your dentist can suggest treatments to help you regain your healthy smile. If you’re worried about the costs of these treatments, ask your dentist about affordable implant dentistry services. They can offer and recommend affordable options such as mini dental implants, a cost-effective way to regain your healthy teeth.

Speed eating may look fun and entertaining but can have serious health risks. With the risks associated with competitive speed eating, it’s important to recognize the dangers and avoid this type of activity. Instead, embrace healthy eating habits and practice good oral hygiene for better health. Doing so can help you avoid many risks associated with competitive speed eating.

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