Anime Big Eater

Anime Big Eater

Welcome class and today’s lesson will be about the anime big eater seen in many series old and new. The big eater in anime is classified as a glutton that routinely stuffs his or her face with a large amount of food in a short period of time. The anime big eater also displays no outward signs of eating large amounts of food aside from the occasional large swollen belly, which can make female characters appear pregnant. These bellies quickly disappear after a short period of time leaving none the wiser to their stuffing. This also often shocks many of the other characters present at the time. Some notable examples include Lina Inverse from Slayers, and Natsu Dragoneel from Fairy Tail both shown below. Other notable big eaters include the Sayians from Dragon Ball Z, and many Shoujen heroes such as Luffy.

anime big eater
Lina Inverse from Slayers stuffing her face
anime big eater
Natsu and Lucy from episode 1 of Fairy Tail

Thus there are two parts to the anime big eater that need to be examined.

1- The ability to ingest a large amount of food in a short period of time 2- The ability to not gain weight from their frequent stuffing sessions

The Stomach

There are many parts to the human digestive system, but our main concern is with the stomach. The human stomach is a muscular sac that physically and chemically breaks down food before sending it onto the small intestine. At rest the stomach only has a volume around a third of a cup (75-80ml); however, it has the ability to expand. This is so it can hold the entire meal even when a person eats very fast. At maximum capacity the stomach can hold about four and a quarter cups (1L).

Human stomach

Stomach Rupture

Under normal conditions some of the stomach contents will empty into small intestine every 20 minutes, reducing the overall contents of the stomach until all of the food is digested. If someone were to ingest more than 4 and a quarter cups the body’s response is to forcibly eject the food in a display reminiscent of the Exorcist. If for some reason the person’s ability to vomit is suppressed the Stomach can continue to expand up to 1.3 gallons (4.9L) before rupturing. This is a possible complication from Prader Willi syndrome, where the individual always feels hungry. This causes them to constantly eat regardless of the stomachs condition. So the ability of the human stomach to hold the large amount of food ingested by big eaters is proven.

Competitive eaters
big eaters
Nathans Hot Dog eating contest

Whether you consider competitive eating a sport or not, it does prove that we can eat a large amount of food in a short period of time, without bursting our stomachs. The record at the Nathan’s hot dog eating in contest is 69 hot dogs in ten minutes. This proves that we can eat large amounts of food in a short period of time so the first part of the Big Eater is



The technical definition of Metabolism is all of the chemical reactions that a living organism needs to perform in order to survive. A map of human metabolism is shown below.

Map of human metabolism
    For the purposes of examining the big eater, we need only use the common definition of metabolism. How much energy (calories) a person’s body burns during the course of the day.
  • 1- Energy in > Energy out = a gain in weight
  • 2- Energy in < Energy out = a loss of weight
  • 3- Energy in = Energy out = no change in weight

Therefore an anime big eater must burn as much or more energy than they ingest in order to stay the same size or smaller. Now there are some human conditions where this can possibly occur. The first one is extreme amounts exercise normally performed by high level athletes. Physical activity burns energy and the more active a person is the more energy their body burns. As such, very active people need to eat more than their more sedentary companions. The total daily meal for an Olympic soccer player is shown below.

The second condition where people eat large amounts of food and remain the same weight or lose weight is hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland is found in the neck and is the main control of energy metabolism in the body. In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland is over active, producing more thyroid hormone than necessary. As a result the body burns through food faster than a person can ingest it. This causes large amounts of weight loss regardless of the individual’s diet or activity level. Other effects of hyperthyroidism include infection, cancer, and heart problems, so taking thyroid hormone is not a recommended method of weight loss. Thus while not common and or not entirely healthy it is possible for a person to eat large amounts of food and not gain weight. Part 2 of the anime Big Eater is



Humans have the ability to ingest large amounts of food in a short period of time and not gain weight. While it is not entire healthy or recommended big eaters are


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