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Amazing, Astonishing, and Appalling Hot Dog Fun Facts for the Fourth of July


In honor of the 97th anniversary of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest we have rounded up some amazing, astonishing, and appalling(?) hot dog fun facts. Dazzle your guests with these stats as you flip burgers and dogs (or maybe not) this Fourth of July.

Hot Dog Facts:
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will consume 150 million hot dogs tomorrow

Former champion Takeru Kobayashi can no longer participate in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest due to a contract dispute with Major League Eating (it’s a real thing!)

On July 4, 2011 Kobayashi reportedly downed 69 dogs at an unsanctioned event in Manhattan 

Joey “Jaws” Chesnut, the reigning champ, took down 62 dogs last year

According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 62 hot dogs contain 18,689 calories and 1,162 grams of fat

2011 marked the first ever all-women’s competition at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (so proud?)

Sonya Thomas holds the women’s world record at 41 hot dogs in 10 minutes

40,000 people are expected to attend the 2012 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island

We don’t recommend trying to keep up with the pros. In fact, studies show competitive eaters lose the ability to feel full after a meal but if you indulge in just one hot dog a year here are a few ways to make the Independence Day indulgence a little less bad for your body.


  • Swap your bun for whole wheat to double the protein from four grams to eight and up the fiber content from one measly gram to six.


  • Skip the ketchup in favor of mustard to cut calories by more than half. You’ll also cut sugar from 6.8 grams per two tablespoons of ketchup to just .84 grams in mustard. Plus, ketchup is a known belly bloater, not good for those barbecuing in bikinis.


  • Lettuce and tomato aren’t just for burgers. Pass on sugar and sodium-laden relishes and give yourself a refreshing little nutrient boost.


  • Instead of pork and beef blended hot dogs, try a combination of bison and beef. One traditional hot dog packs about 14 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein. By choosing a bison/beef dog like Body By Bison’s Jumbo Hot Dog, which is 70 percent bison meat and 30 percent beef, you’ll cut fat to eight grams and double the protein!

    Happy Fourth of July Fit Foodies! What’s on your Independence Day menu? Will you be eating any hot dogs this year?

    As an editor at SHAPE I have the chance to learn about the healthiest ways to cook, eat, and live from all sorts of experts but I’m also a single girl living in NYC with a busy schedule, active social life, and chocolate cravings. I’m here to share what works for me—and where I need a little help from you.


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