Man about town: Man v Food v Obesity

Over here the punishment, sorry challenge, appears to have moved to fashionable restaurants

Share

After last week’s pet hate, a guilty pleasure: Man v Food.

For the uninitiated, Man v Food is the TV show which sees perma-hungry host Adam Richman travel across America taking on the various eating challenges. These are not the sort of eat-a-worm trials on offer on I’m a Celebrity, but the one person eating a meal under a time limit, that could feed family for a weekend.

He once ate a four and a half kilo, 55 cm pizza, on another show he consumed a five and a half kilo burger, and at one place he had to eat 180 oysters. It’s like the Marco Ferreri movie La Grande Bouffe (where a group of men resolved to eat themselves to death) relocated to the Boondocks.

But while Richman’s spots are often in the middle of Hicksville, over here the punishment, sorry challenge, appears to have moved to fashionable restaurants.

This week I was invited to The Diner restaurant in London, where they were launching the Red Hot Chili Dog Challenge – in honour of this weekend’s Superbowl. I had half-thought of entering, but when I realised the size of the test involved, I was quickly disavowed of that notion. It wasn’t the spiciness involved (the dogs are covered in chilli peppers and chilli sauce), but the size – four big sausages in buns, a total of 2,500 calories and 1.8kg. I had one – so spicy you had to wear protective gloves, and delicious – but I pity anyone who tries four.

The next night, over at hip table tennis nightspot Ping, customers were being offered the Man vs Pizza trial. This involves one of two exams: one to eat a huge (40cm by 75cm) pizza in under 10 minutes, the other is a normal-sized but chilli-slathered pizza, in under one minute. Do it and you earn a t-shirt and the respect of your peers (possibly).

The growth has seen the arrival of a new website devoted to the trend (TheFoodProject.co.uk), which lists ways and places you can do damage to your internal organs from Bolton to Bristol and from Bloomsbury to Berkshire, usually in up-market fast-food joints.

Some will point out the country’s problems with obesity, and others the issues of gorging while others go hungry, but with a slowly-rising number of these eye-opening and stomach-turning challenges seem here to stay.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: Every privatised corner of the NHS would be taken back into public ownership

Philip Pullman
 

Errors & Omissions: Magna Carta, sexing bishops and ministerial aides

John Rentoul
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing