Overeat­ing Dur­ing a Hol­i­day or Sport­ing Event Could Lead to an ER Visit

Wellness Update - - Now -

– Peo­ple who overeat dur­ing na­tional hol­i­days and na­tional sport­ing events are 10 times more likely to need emer­gency med­i­cal at­ten­tion for food ob­struc­tion than any at other time of the year, ac­cord­ing to a new study led by a Univer­sity of Florida re­searcher. Asim Shuja M.D., a gas­troen­terol­o­gist at UF Health Jack­sonville, led the re­search team. The study used data col­lected over an 11-year pe­riod from the emer­gency room at St. El­iz­a­beth’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Bos­ton. “Though the sam­ple size was small, it’s clear that a pat­tern emerged show­ing a higher per­cent­age of peo­ple seek­ing treat­ment dur­ing or just af­ter the hol­i­day or event,” Shuja said, “and a much greater per­cent­age dur­ing those times needed help be­cause food was im­pacted in their esoph­a­gus. It’s a very se­ri­ous prob­lem that peo­ple need to be aware of.” Most of the prob­lems a ected men, and most of the cases came dur­ing or just af­ter the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day. But Shuja and the other re­searchers say other hol­i­days, such as New Year’s Day or events such as the Su­per Bowl, also were as­so­ci­ated with a higher in­ci­dence of cases. Serv­ing size and how quickly peo­ple ate were listed as pos­si­ble risk fac­tors, as was al­co­hol con­sump­tion. Over the study pe­riod, from 2001 to 2012, 38 peo­ple un­der­went an emer­gency pro­ce­dure on the esoph­a­gus dur­ing or just af­ter the hol­i­day or sport­ing event time pe­riod (within three days of the event). Nearly 37 per­cent of those were due to a food im­paction. Com­par­a­tively, of the 81 who had the same pro­ce­dure two weeks be­fore and two weeks af­ter the event dur­ing the “con­trol pe­riod,” just un­der 4 per­cent were due to food im­paction. Dur­ing hol­i­days and na­tional sport­ing events, the most com­mon im­pacted food was turkey (50 per­cent), fol­lowed by chicken (29 per­cent) and beef (21 per­cent). “We think the main message here is for peo­ple to be aware and not to, for lack of a bet­ter term, overindulge,” Shuja said. “Not only the amount of food you’re eat­ing dur­ing the hol­i­day or event, but the size of the por­tion you’re eat­ing can have a tremen­dous im­pact.”

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