Dozens Hospitalized After Overdoing It At “Mac & Cheese Bowl”
By Leslie Carp
Published February 19th, 2016
LOUDONVILLE — After nearly 40 revelers fell ill Saturday from eating too much mac & cheese, organizers of the popular “Mac & Cheese Bowl” are considering cancelling future events — or worse, policing portion sizes.
Participants at this year’s event reported sickening scenes of severe lactose intolerance and overeating-induced illnesses, reminiscent of the “Mr. Creosote” sketch from “Monty Python and the Meaning of Life.”
“I’ve never smelled anything like that,” said Garold Zakker, a medical malpractice lawyer who hoped to reconcile with his estranged twin sons, Dick and Kemp, over laughter and cheesy pasta. “Now my sons will never speak to me again.”
Food-centric events are popular during mid-winter, when appetites and seasonal affective depression meet in the middle. “Mac & Cheese Bowl,” “Wing Wars,” and the disaster that was “Pizza Wars” at Upstate Concert Hall in 2013 are just a few examples of the many all-you-can-eat events held in the Albany area.
Of the 38 people sent to area hospitals, 21 were foreign nationals from countries with high reported levels of lactose intolerance.
Miyo Ochanomizu, a study-abroad student from Osaka weighing in at 97 pounds and 5-feet tall, was one of them.
“I thought I would be fine because I am training to be a competitive eater,” said Ochanomizu from her bed at St. Peter’s Hospital, where she is being treated for foamy diarrhea and vomiting blood. “I only had fifteen cups of mac and cheese. The volume was fine, but the cheese got me!”
Health department officials are strongly considering placing a temporary ban on all-you-can-eat events, and moving to regulate participants’ ability to overdo it to the point of being sick.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health, Heady Topper, cited the recent example of the state’s taxation and regulation of e-cigarettes as a prime example of successfully sucking all the joy out of vice.
“This is New York. If we can’t kill these absurd displays of gluttony altogether, we will move forward with legislation, regulations and taxes to slowly strangle all the fun out of them.”