The Real Reason Twitter Is Joking About Joey Chestnut

If Joey Chestnut were the type to search for his own name, he would find a good portion of Twitter joking about how they can't believe he's still alive. "Joey Chestnut is officially -134 years old," one personĀ tweeted. "Joey Chestnut has approximately 40 minutes to live at most," another agreed. A third Twitter userĀ quipped that, "Joey Chestnut is to hot dogs what Keith Richards is to cigarettes." And on and on into the event horizon that is Twitter.

The starting point of these jokes is the results from a study by the University of Michigan. As relayed by The National News, eating a hot dog may shorten your "healthy life" by 36 minutes. The CDC broadly illustrates healthy life as a way to measure the various intersections where aging, physical complaints, social ability, and other factors meet to inform one's generally healthy state. The main point of the University's results is that any form of processed meat shortens the time in your life that you will be considered healthy.

Of course, people hear the words "hot dogs," "shorten," and "life" and jump to jokes about Joey Chestnut.

Joey Chestnut isn't afraid of the study

Whether or not Joey Chestnut keeps tabs on his name, he has evidently learned of his impending doom. He also disagrees with the assessment. "The only way I can continue doing it is by being healthy," he explained to The Washington Post. "If I start gaining weight and start having issues with my body, then I won't be able to push my body."

Moreover, while 36 minutes sounds dramatic, the amount of damage it constitutes appears smaller when you place it in the context of a lifetime. As a competitive eater, Joey Chestnut estimates that he has consumed about 1,200 per year for 16 years. That makes 19,200 hot dogs in total. So, he has lost 691,200 minutes. This reduces to 11,520 hours. This, in turn, reduces to 480 days or one year and 115 days. And that is done to someone who eats absurd amounts of hot dogs. Of course, Chestnut has probably eaten other processed meats, but it still shows how relatively long a half an hour seems in isolation compared to across a lifetime.