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Ladies First

Sonya Thomas and the women's movement in competitive eating

Updated: June 30, 2011, 4:32 PM ET
By Patrick Michels

Say what you will about competitive eating: It glamorizes gluttony in an already fat nation and the sport is sustained by an unseemly blend of gross commercialism and drunken fraternity culture. Argue, if you really want, that it's not a sport at all. But when the bout begins and those greasy chunks start to scatter, competitive eating has always had equality. Man and woman at the same table, mocked and cheered together as they battle through the same incomparable pain.

Not anymore. This ...

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