I might have developed diabetes just from reading about this. Not!
I saw this story on a few news sites this morning, all leading with something like this: “When Denny’s decided to run an all you can eat special—unlimited pancakes for $5 a head—they likely didn’t foresee the likes of this!”
Over the weekend, the seven boys in the image above devoured 301 pancakes in 24 hours, consuming approximately 14,000 calories each. The stories also include the anecdote, “The kids ate so much and stayed for so long that at one point an employee had to run out for more batter.”
The numbers 301 and 14,000 sound impressive, but let’s break this down. 301 divided by 7 is 43. Each teenage boy (a demographic already known for their voracious appetites) was only responsible for 43 pancakes over the course of 24 hours. These guys are getting a lot of news coverage over 43 medium-to-small sized flapjacks.
As my colleague Liza put it, “That just sounds like my college friends drunk at a Waffle House.”
I see two obvious strategies that would make eating 43 pancakes in a day doable, if not totally enjoyable. One is to schedule 5 meals spaced apart equally, at which each person is responsible for 8.5 johnnycakes. If needed—and it shouldn’t be—the boys could spend the time between meals doing jumping jacks, push-ups, and other calisthenics to rev up their appetites. The other option seems even easier: each boy eats 2 pancakes per hour for one day.
For the sake of comparison, I just want to point out: Kobayashi ate 53 1/2 hot dogs in 12 minutes.
But I will give the boys this: hot dogs are mostly comprised of fat so they slide right down. These teens put away stacks of sticky, white, starchy flour, which can be difficult to swallow. It’s possible that without enough syrup and proper chewing, gobs of pancake could have gotten stuck in their throats, slowing the day down considerably. But that’s amateur shit. Judging by the image, they had plenty of butter and syrup to lube up each bite.
This 301 pancakeathon should not, on its own, be considered champion behavior. If anything it sounds like training for second string JV—like running up a flight of stairs with light weights strapped to their ankles. They’re not entirely without potential, but they’ll need years of diligent training if they ever hope to play in the big leagues.