How Do They Do It? It's Not Pretty

Want a permanently elastic, balloon-like stomach? Try competitive eating
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2008 3:43 PM CDT
Joey Chestnut, center left, and returning champion Takeru Kobayashi, center right, face off at the contest.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – For every time you watched a scrawny guy chow dozens of hot dogs in 12 minutes and wondered where, exactly, he puts it, scientists may have your answer. As compared with us mere mortals, the Wall Street Journal reports, a professional’s stomach appears as a “giant balloon that looks like it has no limit.”

The study, which pitted a civilian of healthy appetite against a competitor, showed that while the former felt he might be sick after only 7 hot dogs (and no buns, even!), the professional eater ate 36 with no discernible effect but a pregnant-looking belly. Years of training had eliminated his concept of fullness—a change scientists speculate could be permanent.