Man dies after Japan speed-eating contest

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A Japanese man has died after choking on a rice ball during a speed-eating competition.

The man, who has not been named, fell unconscious at the event in Hikone, in Shiga prefecture, on 13 November while trying to eat five onigiri balls in three minutes.

He died in hospital three days later without regaining consciousness, contest organisers told Japanese media.

Speed-eating contests are popular spectator events in Japan.

Experts warn that as well as choking, speed-eaters risk damaging their stomach or oesophagus.

Competitive eaters face other risks, according to medical experts. The training and competitions not only can cause gastric ruptures and drop sodium levels to dangerously low levels that might lead to seizures but also can trigger eating disorders, said Kim Dennis, an eating disorder expert from Chicago.

[BBC News]

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