So, I don’t really watch much TV. But a couple of days ago my boyfriend turned on the boob tube and the show Man vs. Food was on. I’ve never seen this show before. People might think I’m a snob for saying this, but it kind of grossed me out.

For those who haven’t heard of Man vs. Food, host Adam Richman travels the country looking for huge, hearty meals in different restaurants and then attempts an eating challenge at each establishment. The episode I watched had Richman trying to eat four quarter-pound hot dogs stuffed into a 16-inch French roll covered with three pounds of chili and a pound of fries. Oh, and he had to eat the whole thing in 20 minutes to win the challenge.

I feel a little guilty criticizing the show because the host seems like a fun, likable guy, and the food does look tasty. But I’d be lying if I said watching it didn’t make me feel uneasy. Maybe I’m being too uptight by not seeing the fun in it, but I don’t think gluttony is something we should glorify.

At least Alton Brown agrees with me.

The boyfriend is generally more laid back in his opinions than I am, so I asked him if I was being too uptight. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: Am I being too uptight by thinking that show is gross?
Him: No, I’m sure a lot of people think it’s gross. I’m not grossed out by it though. Eating competitions are entertaining.
Me: But it’s the glorification of gluttony.
Him: So? That’s been around forever.
Me: So has pedophilia.
Him: I’m okay with that too.
Me: I’m quoting you on my blog.

He was kidding (I hope). But anyway, this ties in with my opinion about buffets. I’m not a fan of them. I just don’t see what’s so great about stuffing yourself with a ridiculous amount of food. It’s wasteful and certainly not healthy. With all the eating-related diseases we deal with and the problems that our over consumption causes to the environment, I just can’t be nonchalant about finding pleasure in binging.

At least, according to Wikipedia, Richman does a lot of cardio and intermittent fasting to balance out all the eating he does.

I’m a big fan of moderation. I eat chili dogs and fries and burgers and sundaes and cupcakes, just you know, not at the same time and not to the point where I feel like a beached whale.

If you still think I’m being a tight-ass about overeating, consider the side effects. For one, obesity, which leads to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and so on. Not to mention that consistently overeating fatty foods can have the same effect on your brain as drugs, making you crave it even more. Eating large amounts of food–especially highly processed food–is also hard on your organs. Those who’ve had heart attacks are at a much higher risk of having another heart attack after a hefty meal. Also, here’s a description of what your body goes through after consuming a large amount of sugar. It’s a lot more fun eating this way than dealing with what happens to you afterward.

Later on we watched Healthy Gourmet (another show which I’ve never seen before) and I felt a little better. It’s the total opposite of Man vs. Food. In the episode I saw, the hosts were trying to get some guy to eat vegetables. Like, the guy REALLY hated vegetables. They blindfolded him to get him to eat them. A bit dramatic, but I’m sure there are people out there who are really that vegetable phobic. But hey, whatever works.

Now I must get ready for some 4th of July shenanigans. If you feel compelled to eat five pounds of barbecue, today is the day to do it. Just…try to include some veggies in there or something.

What do you think about overeating, buffets and Man vs. Food?

6 comments on “Glorifying Gluttony”

  1. werd. i really hate going to buffets, or when restaurants serve those insane quantities of “okay” food, as opposed to sane portions of GOOD food. these places kinda defeat the purpose of the restaurant biz b/c it’s no longer about good food, it’s just hype about getting a good deal. and i saw a bit of man vs. food yesterday; doesn’t gross me out much, but i swear, it’s like watching an snl parody

  2. I’ve watched Man v. Food a few times – and used to really like it. In the first season (when I watched several episodes) it seemed to be more about trying new foods in new cities – yes, with a contest involved and big portions. But the 2nd season every single show involved much MUCH larger portions. It was also interesting to see that Adam was significantly larger during the 2nd season than he was during the 1st. Now he’s not even the one participating – instead it’s 2 other contestants competing against each other.
    I personally thought the show was somewhat entertaining at first – but the more I watched it, and the larger the challenges got – the less I liked it. Now a lot of it is just plain gross – but I take it with a grain of salt – the show is all about “contest eating”…but I do think it’s encouraging people to go out there and eat like Adam does (or did).

  3. my husband loves that show and I pretty much dont get it. Totally gross and interestingly..I wont let my son watch it, I dont want him thinking eating like that is ‘cool’.

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