OP-ED: Should Wayne Hills Sanction Food-eating Contests?

OP-ED: Should Wayne Hills Sanction Food-eating Contests?

By Lauren Reiser, Sophomore Editor

With all we know about healthy eating today, does it make sense that the final main event of Wayne Hills’ Spirit Rally is a pie-eating contest, in which eight students gorge themselves while their classmates rowdily cheer them on? Having now watched this contest twice, I am convinced that this event should be eliminated.

To cap off Spirit Week, Wayne Hills holds an annual Spirit Rally where students and teachers compete in different events to earn points for their grades as the rest of the school watches from the bleachers. The rally features traditional events like the tug-of-war, the balloon pop, and the dizzy bat race. While most of these contests are fun, the student pie-eating contest seems outdated and is unhealthy. In fact, several of the students who participated in this year’s contest became ill after the rally.

Sophomore Alyssa Wisely, who participated in the pie-eating contest for the past two years, feels that the event is “very overwhelming and too much for a school contest. Many people got sick from it, including me.”

While pie-eating contests may have once been common at state fairs and carnivals, our society is now more focused on health and wellness. It is obvious that consuming such a large amount of sugary food in a short period of time is unhealthy and unwise. For example, last year, a junior college student at Sacred Heart University died after choking in a charity pancake-eating contest. As this tragedy demonstrates, Wayne Hills should teach students about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and supporting healthy choices, instead of encouraging participation in such an unhealthy event.

Sophomore Heather Sarney agrees. “I understand that the pie-eating contest is for entertainment, but it’s actually unhealthy for people to be eating food that quickly just to become sick later on.”

The pie-eating contest is an anachronism that is inconsistent with our modern 21st-century values and glorifies the very type of excesses that our school should be teaching its students to avoid. It’s time for Wayne Hills to say goodbye to the pie-eating contest and choose a more appropriate finale for our otherwise enjoyable Spirit Rally.