Scientists say human hotdog-eating record is 9 hotdogs shy of physical limit

Eighty-four hotdogs is the "maximum possible limit" a human being can consume in 10 minutes, says a researcher at High Point University in North Carolina. James Smoliga, a sports medicine specialist, based his research on 39 years of historical data from Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, reports The Guardian. The current world record was set this month by Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, who walked down 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

From The Guardian:

The 84 theoretical maximum comes from fitting a curve to the data and also factoring in the possibility of outliers whose performance lies within a certain error margin of the curve.

The prediction should hold true, Smoliga said, unless a "new kind of competitor" shows up – someone with gigantism or a metabolic condition that placed them well outside the normal parameters of human biology.

The limiting factor is likely to be chewing and swallowing rather than gastric capacity, based on the observation that at the end of the 10 minutes many competitors are still trying to gobble down more sausages and buns.