Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi announces retirement to focus on his health

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Six-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest champion Takeru Kobayashi announced he is officially retiring from competitive eating in order to “live a healthy and long life.” Kobayashi expressed his concerns about the damage that highly processed food has caused him in the Netflix film “Hack Your Health – The Secrets of Your Gut.”

“For the past 20 years, I have been in this field,” he said “I worry about the consequences of my decision, but most importantly, I want to repair my brain and gut.”

One of the concerns the 46-year-old brought up is that he no longer has the same appetite or sense of smell he did in the past. Retiring from this career, he said, will allow him to hopefully reverse the effects that competitive eating had on his body.

Kobayashi did not just specialize in hot dogs, as he has also participated in multiple other eating contests that include pizza and hamburgers. His career kicked off after he appeared on a Japanese reality show called “TV Champion” in 2000. In that show, he stole the spotlight by consuming 60 plates of sushi, 2.7kg of potatoes and 16 bowls of ramen in one sitting.

Kobayashi said he is worried that not listening to his body when he was full might have caused issues. However, he is not fully giving up on food as he wants to turn this experience into something positive and work on creating a hot dog with healthier ingredients. 

“I am worried about what my next step will bring, but I’m also excited about my future,” he said.

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