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Post: 6-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest champion announces retirement over health concerns

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6-time Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest champion announces retirement over health concerns

(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images) JAPAN (WKRC) – Six-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest champion Takeru Kobayashi has announced his retirement from competitive eating due to health concerns.

According to USA Today, the 46-year-old made the shocking announcement in Netflix’s "Hack Your Health – The Secrets of Your Gut," which, according to the outlet, is a documentary which explores how food and gut health relates to one’s healthiness overall.

"I’ve decided to retire from competitive eating. It’s all I’ve done for the last 20 years," Kobayashi, 46, announced in the Netflix documentary, per USA Today.

The Japanese competitive eater explained that overeating over the decades for the sport has left him unable to feel full and without an appetite, per the outlet. Kobayashi’s wife, Maggie James, said that the problems have caused her husband to go days without eating, according to USA Today, which noted that James said Kobayashi felt his body was "broken."

"I hear people say they’re hungry, and they look very happy after they’ve eaten. I’m jealous of those people because I no longer feel hunger," Kobayashi said in the Netflix documentary, per USA Today. "I hope to live a long and healthy life."

Kobayashi began his career back in the year 2000 when he appeared on the Japanese variety show "TV Champion," during which he eat 16 bowls of ramen in just an hour. In 2001, Kobayashi set a world record at the 2001 Nathan’s Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest on the Fourth of July.

He ate 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes. The previous record was 25 and a half hot dogs.

In the documentary, Kobayashi said "I’m sure I’ve eaten 10,000 hot dogs since the beginning of my career."

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