• Kyodo


A 14-year-old junior high school student died Wednesday, three months after falling into a choking-induced coma after mimicking a television “quick-eating contest” program.

School officials said Saturday that the boy on Jan. 15 had raced two male classmates eating school lunch bread in their classroom in Bisai Municipal No. 1 Junior High School in the city of Bisai, Aichi Prefecture.

The boy rushed out of the classroom to a nearby sink and collapsed after trying to vomit. A school nurse then removed the food stuck in his throat and he was rushed by ambulance to a hospital.

He arrived at the hospital in cardiopulmonary arrest, but resumed breathing on his own after emergency treatment. He remained comatose, however, for the more than three months before his death, the officials said.

A hospital official said that since the boy did not have any illnesses, his death was apparently the result of the fast-eating event.

A teacher was in the classroom at the time, but was not aware of what the boys were doing, according to the officials.

A survey conducted by the school after the accident in January reported that 51 of 853 students had been involved in such races more than once.

Naoki Ogi, an education critic, says that TV programs involving quick-eating or binge-eating contests are highly popular among children.

A survey he conducted with students at elementary and high schools in Tokyo showed that about 36 percent of those responding enjoyed such programs.

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