World Champion Competitive Eater Forced To Retire Due To Health Concerns

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest 6-time winner Takeru Kobayashi has retired from the world of competitive eating after a major health scare. The 46-year-old from Japan started his career in 2000 during an appearance on the variety show TV Champion, where he ate 16 bowls of ramen noodles in an hour. He has also won the Mustard Yellow Belt at the Coney Island hot dog eating competition from 2001 to 2006. Now, after consuming what Kobayashi estimates to be 10,000 hot dogs over his 20-year career, he has announced his retirement. “I hear people say they’re hungry, and they look very happy after they’ve eaten,” said Kobayashi. “I’m jealous of those people because I no longer feel hunger.” He went on to explain that he never feels hungry or full and has also had a reduction in his sense of smell. Concerned about his lack of appetite, Kobayashi underwent an MRI scan. Doctors concluded that Kobayashi’s chronic overeating had impacted his nervous system, causing his brain to think he’s always competing or eating highly processed foods. The former competitive eater now says that he’s excited about what his future will bring, which includes creating a healthier hot dog by combining it with Japanese ingredients.