Fourth of July witnesses Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest every year. The one organised in 2014 saw the male victor eating 61, while the female victor could eat 34. the winner gets $40,000 as prize-money.

The difference between eating of food by a normal human-being and a competitive eater is that while a normal human being feels full after eating approximately one liter or its equivalent quantity of food. They cannot go beyond a certain limit their stomachs set out for them.

In contrast, competitive eaters train their stomachs to stretch beyond their limits. Their capacity to hold food is extended. Competitive eaters can relax their stomachs to assimilate large amounts of food and water. They do this by munching on low-calorie food that fills their stomachs, but doesn't leave them satisfied. Their esophagus is relaxed to enable the passage of more food down the track.

Water is consumed as a part of the training in the form of water, diet-soda, watermelon and cabbage. They do stretch the limits of the stomachs of the competitors. But there is a difference in the amount of stretching that individuals can achieve. This is where one emerges as the victor in the competition.

There certainly are side-effects of such binge eating. Devouring hot-dogs by the dozen results in  cramps of the stomach that can be very painful. Binge eaters of hot-dogs are also known to complain of nausea and even develop diarrhea. In the extreme case, there can be a rupture of the stomach.

There is always a team of medical experts at hand on such venues to lend a helping hand. This is despite the fact that all competitors are professionally trained to partake in the competition.