Taiwan to curb 'big-stomach' eating contests

November 3, 2011

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.

Explore further: Medical debt occurs despite insurance, study shows

Related Stories

Medical debt occurs despite insurance, study shows

June 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.

Health insurance doesn't always protect people from medical debt

July 1, 2011
In 2010, about 40 percent of Americans -- or 73 million people -- had trouble paying medical bills, up from 34 percent in 2005. Now, a new study confirms that having health insurance coverage is no guarantee against accumulating ...

Recommended for you

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

2 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.