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Conor Chambers Ms. Caruso English 1102 March 20, 2013 CAP Letter Memo: This letter is written to deans of different universities to convince them to side with my cause of banning food eating competitions on their campuses. Hopefully the introduction will grab the reader’s attention and want them to continue reading until the end. As the letter is being read, the reader should try to make connections, for example if they have experienced a time where they partook in a food eating competition and they felt sick afterwards. In addition, before reading this, they should understand how dangerous food eating competitions can be, as proven with deaths caused by them. Article responded to: Protesting Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Albers, Susan, Psy.D. "Protesting Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest." Confort Cravings. Psychology Today, 3 July 2010. 12 March 2013. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/comfort-cravings/201007/protesting-nathanshot-dog-eating-contest>.
Dear Sir or Madam, A university has a responsibility to protect their students. Are you putting your students at risk? Are you putting the university at risk? It has been brought to my attention that your university participates in food eating competitions. These competitions, though seemingly harmless, can have dire consequences. There have been 17 documented deaths, (see attachment, pg. 6), dating from 1983 to 2012, which have resulted from this “harmless fun.” Donuts, marshmallows, chicken wings, bread, cupcakes, pancakes, noodles, hot dogs, dumplings, and bugs, to plain old water have all lead to these untimely early deaths (ojrifkin). Chen, a 23 year old Taiwan student, died participating in a steamed-bun eating contest (partysugar). He was just one of the 60 students, split into 30 pairs, who competed in a contest to eat two steamed buns stuffed with egg and cheese. The team who had the quickest time received $2,000. During the contest, Chen repeatedly vomited, fell unconscious, and died. Doctors believe he choked (Wang). Is a Nintendo Wii so amazing that one should risk their life to obtain one? Jennifer Strange took this risk aton a radio station and entered a “harmless” water drinking/ urine holding contest called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii”. The 28 year-old mother of three lost. She complained of a headache after the contest and died from acute water intoxication the next day. Her family was awarded a $16.5 million settlement (Saltzman). Jennifer Strange participated in a water drinking contest and died from water intoxication (Saltzman). Both of these examples are food eating competitions that have led to horrible deaths. I beg you not to allow food competitions at your university to protect the lives of your students. Food competitions are dangerous and I fear that if you allow them at your campus, your student participants could
overeat and possibly die. At the least, this would promote and increase obesity. With your help we can lower the popularity of food eating contests and save lives. Chen was participating in his school’s annual food eating competition. He started choking while eating a steamed bun. Little did he know that the food eating contest he was apart of would be the last thing he ever did. This death could have been prevented if his school outlawed food eating competitions (Wang). Is a Nintendo Wii so amazing that one should risk their life to obtain one? Jennifer Strange took this risk on a radio station and entered a water drinking/ urine holding contest called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii”. Unfortunately, she lost the contest, but even more unfortunate, she died the next day from having drunk too much water. This fatal outcome is known as water intoxication. Competitive eaters train by drinking large quantities of water, and each time this occurs, there is a chance that water intoxication could happen. Without food eating competitions, no one would have to drink large amounts of water and threaten their lives just to win a Wii (Saltzman). Even contestants, who are entering food eating contests (not water drinking contests), train their bodies by consuming large quantities of water, increasing the likelihood of water intoxication (Albers). Something as healthy for the body, as water, can be a poison if over consumed. An imbalance in electrolytes, from over consuming, can result in cell swelling. In the brain, the pressure of the swelling cells can lead to blood flow interruption. The pressure can also affect the brain stem, lead to seizures, brain damage, and, in Jennifer’s case, death (Smith). The latest death was just last year. Edward Archbold, of Florida, died participating in a cockroach and worm eating contest. The contest was to see who could eat the most bugs in a four minute period, and the prize, an exotic python (Whigham II). The citizens of his county
were so outraged, that they urged a ban on all food eating competitions. They noted that although this competition was about bug eating, other contests such as the “fatty/high cholesterol” types could lead to other poor outcomes as well (Barnard). Last year, the winning hot dog eating contestant, Joey Chestnut, ate 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes (Mazzeo). He could have ruptured his stomach or had a heart attack. Just one fatty meal can cause the heart to beat harder, raise blood pressure, increase triglycerides, and stiffen major arteries. High cholesterol/fatty foods have also been shown to increase cancer chances (Barnard). Although food eating competitor deaths are rare, they can happen, especially if you’re a nonprofessional trying dumb, new things in school. I remember a few years ago, my sister and I were having a food eating competition at Cici’s Pizza. The competition was to see who could eat the most pizza. I won, but we both felt like losers after gorging our stomachs with pizza. Outside, right before getting into the car and going home, my sister vomited all of her supper out due to the sickness she felt from eating too much. Luckily she survived and everything was fine, unlike Chen choking and vomiting to death. Major League Eating has been trying to get competitive eating into the Olympics. Thankfully they have continually been denied, but if it were to get accepted, then students might aspire to become a competitive eater in the Olympics (Albers). While a few students might make it to become professional competitive eaters, most would risk their lives shoveling food down their throats in hopes of expanding their bellies. In the case that the students do not die and their stomachs don’t burst, they will most likely become obese and have unhealthy eating habits for the rest of their lives. I beg you to ban all food competitions at your university. Protect the lives of your students because they will do just about anything to receive something for “free”. Food
competitions are dangerous! By allowing these “fun” contests on your campus, you are endangering the lives of your students. If you are not discouraging, you are encouraging or at the very least promoting obesity. We as schools, we as a nation, and we as individuals need to protect the lives of students and make sure food eating competitions does not have a will not take place in schools. Please fight against the idea of food eating competitions being approved as an Olympic sport. Please restrict your school from having any type of food eating competitions, whether big or small. With your help, lives will be saved! not be put at risk. Sincerely yours, Conor Chambers
F EAT S EatFeats - competitive eating news, database
Eating / Drinking contest deaths, updated Oct 2012
October 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm by ojrifkin · More posts about:Health Previous edition of list (last updated Dec 2009) 1983 North Carolina Marine dies in donut eating contest at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station 1999 Chicago, a 12 year old school girl dies playing “Chubby Bunny” in an unsupervised classroom. The goal of “Chubby Bunny” is to say “Chubby Bunny” after stuffing one’s mouth with as many marshmallows as possible. 2002 Japan, school boy dies in cafeteria after attempting a stunt seen on a televised eating contest. 2004 Canada man dies after choking in chicken wing eating contest held at Regina bar. 2004 Japan, housewife dies in bread eating contest in Fukusaki, Hyogo Prefecture 2006 Canada, woman dies in “Chubby Bunny” contest held at Ontario fair 2007 Sacramento, woman dies of water intoxication after competing in a bladder endurance contest sponsored by a radio station. 2007 India, man (believed to be epileptic) dies from breathing complications in an idli eating contest 2008 Wales, man dies in unplanned post party cupcake contest to use up left over buffet food. Articles about the contest do not make it clear if the contest was a mouth-stuffing contest or a speed eating contest 2008 Taiwan graduate student dies after victory in a steamed bun eating contest 2008 India, engineer at Nokia Siemens of India chokes after making a pastry eating bet at a company party. 2009 Kaliningrad, Russia Boris Isaev chokes in pancake eating contest 2009 Hyderabad, India Bandu Joshi dies after stuffing 6 laddus into his mouth 2010 Phetchchaburi, Thailand 66 year old Hing Laichan dies after choking in noodle eating contest 2010 San Pedro, California 13 year old Noah Akers choked on a hot dog topped with whipped cream at a fundraiser for Haiti 2011 Tokmak, Ukraine 77 year old Ivan Mendel wins dumpling eating contest, then dies 2011 Timonium, Maryland (near death experience) Michael Solano lacks a pulse for four minutes after choking at a crab cake eating contest, then recovers after hospitalization 2012 Deerfield Beach, Florida Eddy Archbold dies after winning an insect eating contest held at a reptile store
Works Cited Albers, Susan, Psy.D. "Protesting Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest." Confort Cravings. Psychology Today, 3 July 2010. 12 March 2013. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/comfort-cravings/201007/protesting-nathanshot-dog-eating-contest>. Barnard. “There Are No Winners in Competitive Eating Contests.” PCRM. 22 October 2012. 18 April 2013. Mazzeo, Mike. “Joey Chestnut wins hot dog contest.” ESPN New York. 4 July 2012. 18 April 2013. ojrifkin. “Eating / Drinking contest deaths, updated Oct 2012.” FEATS EatFeats-competitive eating news, database & calendar. 9 October 2012. 18 April 2013. partysugar. “Student Dies in Eating Competition.” Popsugar. 27 October 2008. 19 March 2013. <http://www.yumsugar.com/Student-Dies-Eating-Competition-2426275>. Saltzman, Sammy Rose. “Jennifer Strange's Family Awarded $16.5 Million in "Wee for Wii" Contest Death.” CBS News. 30 October 2009. 19 March 2013. <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-5460584-504083.html>. Smith, S. E. “What is Water Intoxication?” wiseGEEK. 26 January 2013. 13 April 2013. Wang, Flora. "Student dies during steamed bun eating contest at university." Taipei Times. 24 October 2008. 19 March 2013. <http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/10/24/2003426758>. Whigham II, Julius. "West Palm man collapses, dies after winning bug-eating contest." The Palm Beach Post. 8 October 2012. 18 April 2013.
More Research The purpose of this paper is to inform my peers, teacher, and the universities about the dangers behind food eating competitions. Also, it is to try to limit the amount of activity of food eating competitions taking place at universities. To fulfill the purpose of this paper, I’ll need to research the dead Taiwan student; Jennifer Strange; food eating competitions; the likeness that something going wrong while partaking in a food eating competition, death caused by eating or drinking too much, and possibly more. My first source came as a protest against the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. For my intended audience, their interest is in food competitions; rather they approve or disapprove of them in schools. Hopefully they will gravitate toward my arguments against having food eating competitions in school. In order to captivate the audience, I need to open up their eyes and inform them of tragedies coming from food competitions. Also I need to keep them interested in my paper by staying on topic, and making the paper flow smoothly. For the unintended audience members, rather they agree with me or not, hopefully they can at least see where I’m coming from in the letter. Maybe it might change the minds of a few, and entertain them enough to want to read the whole thing. I have looked at examples for this topic, and I plan to use a few in my paper. I guess I need to know what colleges will read and won’t read. There could be a chance some colleges would assume my letter is junk mail and not even take the time to read it. For the better good and health of their students, I’d like to think that most colleges would take the time to read a short letter.