How Bad Is Swallowing Gum, Really?

Sean Spicer, our gum-swallowing new White House Press Secretary, has us wondering.

By the end of his first two press conferences as White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer had (most likely) already chewed 35 sticks of Orbit gum and swallowed them. This is unproven, but based on an August 2016 profile of Spicer by The Washington Post, it is possible. Per the Post:

Even when he is not speaking, [his mouth] works on overdrive, churning through pieces of Orbit cinnamon gum, which he chews and swallows whole. Notwithstanding his line of work, the man just can't stand a gross-feeling mouth. "Two and a half packs by noon," said Spicer. "I talked to my doctor about it, he said it's no problem."

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So we made our stick estimate assuming, of course, that Spicer sticks to Orbit cinnamon gum, which comes in a 14-stick pack. But the question is this: Are Spicer's intestines going to gunk together and fall out at an upcoming press briefing?

Probably not.

Gum, despite playground folklore, generally glides through the digestive system almost intact, and the body gets rid of it through regular bowel movements. However, the Mayo Clinic reports that in rare cases, it can block children's intestines if swallowed in large quantities when the child is constipated. Still, doctors don't recommend swallowing it because gum has literally zero nutritional value for the gut... and it's also a choking hazard.

So as far as vices go, swallowing 35 sticks of gum by noon is healthier than smoking 35 cigarettes by noon or eating 35 french fries by noon. But it's not healthier than not swallowing 35 sticks of gum by noon.

Wonder what stick of gum he's on right now.

[h/t The Cut]

From: Esquire
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