Taiwan to curb 'big-stomach' eating contests

Taiwan moved Thursday to curb eating contests, a fad that has caused at least one death, and suggested the national health insurance stop paying for participants seeking medical treatment afterwards.

Competitions involving eating everything from oversized steaks to meatballs by the dozen are endangering public health and wasting , according to the Control Yuan, the top .

"The frequent 'big-stomach' contests not only endanger health but violate the principle of fairness as the contestants who get sick are using the national health insurance resources," it said in a statement.

It asked to consider refusing to reimburse from the cash-tight national insurance scheme for people needing treatment after eating too much at competitions.

"It's something we're keeping an eye on," an official with the national body told AFP. "We've started asking the organisers of the competitions to pay for the medical bills."

The Control Yuan also urged government agencies not to host or sponsor eating contests and called on the media to carry warnings when promoting such events.

Expanding wastelines are a rapidly growing problem in Taiwan, and the number of children on the island classed as overweight or obese has surged from six percent a decade ago to 25 percent in 2009, local data showed.

A recent survey showed that Taiwanese people's favourite pastime is dining out while eating contests are on the rise on the island.

In 2008, a graduate student choked to death after eating too much bread too quickly in a competition on campus in central Taiwan.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Medical debt occurs despite insurance, study shows

Jun 17, 2011

Health insurance is not protecting Arizonans from having problems paying medical bills, and having bill problems is keeping families from getting needed medical care and prescription medicines, a new study has found.

Insurance plan penalizes smokers, obese

Oct 23, 2006

The director of a U.S. anti-smoking organization says smokers and obese people should pay substantially more for health insurance than others.

Recommended for you

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

2 hours ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

Pot-infused edibles: One toke over the line in Colorado?

12 hours ago

Marijuana shops have sprouted across Denver ever since Colorado legalized the drug for adults in January, but the popularity of pot-infused edibles has surprised authorities, and parents are seeking a ban ahead of Halloween.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jm_ponder
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2011
A video of starving African children should be shown before the competition starts - then see how many want to continue.
Skepticus
not rated yet Nov 03, 2011
A video of starving African children should be shown before the competition starts - then see how many want to continue.

Yup. And big posters of obese people (face blanked for privacy) on hospital beds alongside!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.