Diamond Jim Brady has to be in the running. Per Wiki:
For breakfast, he would eat “vast quantities of hominy, eggs, cornbread, muffins, flapjacks, chops, fried potatoes, beefsteak, washing it all down with a gallon of fresh orange juice”. A mid-morning snack would consist of “two or three dozen clams or Lynnhaven oysters”. Luncheon would consist of “shellfish…two or three deviled crabs, a brace of boiled lobsters, a joint of beef, and an enormous salad”. He would also include a dessert of “several pieces of homemade pie” and more orange juice. Brady would take afternoon tea, which consisted of “another platter of seafood, accompanied by two or three bottles of lemon soda”. Dinner was the main meal of the day, taken at Rector’s Restaurant. It usually comprised “two or three dozens oysters, six crabs, and two bowls of green turtle soup. Then in sumptuous procession came six or seven lobsters, two canvasback ducks, a double portion of terrapin, sirloin steak, vegetables, and for dessert a platter of French pastries.” Brady would even include two pounds of chocolate candy to finish off the meal.
There is also Tarrere, but who knows how much of it is true vs folklore. No idea what disease he had, but his skin being hot to the touch makes me wonder if he had an overactive thyroid (among other things).
I suspect that a lot of this is urban legend, but the insatiable appetite “slow mentality” also makes me wonder if he had Prader-Willi syndrome. No wonder he had chronic diarrhea, if he was also eating garbage out of the gutter.
For what it’s worth…I’m always deeply suspicious of this sort of thing, but a bit of googling gives April 85 as publication date in The Lancet; and you can find The Lancet 1985 TOC online, so you can find author and title, and from that an abstract. Not at all amusing, but it seems to be true, and here it is.
Note that it’s a letter to the editor, so it isn’t peer reviewed.
Point of Order: If the woman died because of the UNDIGESTED meal, can she really be given credit for having eaten it?
It’s like the NFL, you have to demonstrate “control” to be given credit for a “catch”. She didn’t demonstrate “control” of the food through the entire digestive process, so I’m ruling, “Record denied!”
On a point of order, the gluttony cited is obscene but most of these examples relate to volumes of food consumed. A substantial portion of these meals is water. The OP question was calorie intake.
A bit over a litre of olive oil has 10,000 calories.
If you were to “wash down” with a (Imp) gallon of edible oil alone you’d have consumed 45,000 calories and probably on a gurney somewhere leaking calories from every pore and orifice.
I had heard that the Guinness Book people stopped keeping records of people eating dangerous amounts of food just to set a world’s record, and changed it to “most food consumed in x minutes.” Am I mistaken?
Before you do I’ll just say that I remember this case in the news (certain details like the whole cauliflower stuck in my mind). The unfortunate woman was a “recovered” anorexic. As the summary says she alternated starving and binging. Irrc she was staying at her parents, came downstairs in the middle of the night and consumed the contents of the fridge, again irrc uncooked. Her mother was heartbroken.
Well. The letter in question, written by one Gillian M. Edwards of Royal Liverpool Hospital, goes into more detail than you would expect if it were an urban legend.
The medical history says that she had been “excessively concerned about her weight for several years” and was prescribed anabolic steroids 3 years previously, when she weighed 38.4 kg, but that there was no psychiatric referral nor had anorexia nervosa ever been diagnosed.
It does say that she had been interspersing 3-4-day periods of complete starvation with bouts of gorging, and describes the fatal 19-lb. meal. Stomach and rectal tubes failed to relieve the pressure, so they had to operate. They removed 3 litres of semisolid food from the stomach, but she died an hour after surgery. Her stomach and guts were not in good shape; main cause of death was septicaemia.
He notes that there are some comparisons with this case and “pig-bel”, which is an often fatal type of food poisoning brought on by the ceremonial eating in New Guinea of unaccustomed large quantities of partially uncooked pork.
He hopes that bulimia nervosa should be recognized and treated early, to avoid such medical emergencies.
[It is not a big surprise that eating too much food can be fatal, just as drinking too much water can be fatal.]
I think the answer to the OP has to look something like this. The limit to eating is the volume, so choosing a food with high calories per volume is essential. Fats or oils appear to be the best possible choice. As to digestion, the question isn’t about digestion, it’s about eating; besides, animals don’t normally absorb all the calories in food anyway, or else dung wouldn’t be combustable. It might be that a gallon or two of oil pass through without a great deal of change. Note the OP didn’t ask about the most amount of calories enjoyed.
There is, though, another possibility. People so morbidly obese that they are unable to move from bed, who keep eating for months or years this way, could be said to be consuming all that food in “one sitting”. We might need a judge’s ruling about whether that counts.