Competitive eating is a sport that is rapidly growing in popularity (primarily in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Japan) that focuses on the ability to eat large quantities of food in a short timed event. The food eaten is usually a variety of fast food or dessert such as pies, pizzas, and hot dogs. There are several world championships with competitors starting at a local level and eventually achieving world wide renown. Sonya Thomas from Korea is currently one of the sports greatest champions. It predominantly takes place at circuses, rodeos, and county fairs as well as on holidays such as Mardi Gras, Saint Patrick's Day, and Oktoberfest.
Competitors are called "gurgitators" and preparation for events is often extremely intensive training in stamina, eating and gut expansion.