This ABC Science article by Dr Karl S. Kruszelnicki claims

Before he died, Elvis was eating about 100,000 calories per day!


The basic element of Elvis' daily food intake was a 30-cm long bread roll, stuffed with bacon, peanut butter and strawberry jam. Each one had 42,000 calories, and in his final days, he ate two of them per day, together with little midnight snacks of hamburgers and deep-fried white bread.

That seems pretty extreme. I remember hearing that Michael Phelps was only eating ~12k when he was at his prime, and I read that winners of the Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest only eat on the scale of 25k. To me this sounds like an error.

Was Elvis consuming 100k (dietary) calories per day towards the end of his life?

  • 49
    By way of comparison, 100 000 calories are equivalent to about 14 kg butter.
    – user22213
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 1:06
  • 1
    @Loong That's what I was about to say: "Only if he was eating butter sticks all day long."
    – user11643
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 3:01
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    Just a thought, but perhaps there was a miscommunication error along the way - kilojoules are the metric measure equivalent to Calories (I also notice a capitalisation issue - dietary Calories should be capitalised, because they're actually kilocalories), 1 Cal is about 4.2 kJ. So 42,000 kJ would be about 10,000 Calories, a far more plausible number. Dr Kruszelnicki (Australia's equivalent of Bill Nye, roughly speaking) probably got a wire crossed when reading about it, because Australia uses both kJ and Cal when talking about diets. (and I now see Oddthinking had the same thought)
    – Glen O
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 12:49
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    Ah so this is why a local burger joint has "the Elvis", burger topped with peanut butter, mayo, bacon. ...gross
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 14:52
  • 2
    I'm not having any luck finding concrete numbers, but there logically has to be an upper limit to the amount of food the human digestive system can physically process per day, and I'd bet it is nowhere near 100,000 kcal/day worth. (Vague memory of seeing ~8,000 kcal/day as a practical limit on a bodybuilding forum somewhere, but that's not exactly a reliable source.)
    – zwol
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


That article is silly.

For better information see A look at Elvis Presley's insane food habits on the anniversary of his death, which includes a video interview with Elvis's personal cook Mary Jenkins Langston.

The bread roll stuffed with bacon, peanut butter and jelly was 8,000 Calories, not 42,000. It is the infamous Fool's Gold Loaf.

enter image description here

Other sources say 6,067 calories. See Food Challenge: Fool's Gold Sandwich 6067 Calories (Bill Elljob attempts to eat it on youtube video).

  • 24
    +1. It is unlike Dr Karl to publish nonsense. I wonder if this was a metric conversion error. 8,000 kcal = ~33,000 kilojoules. Add in the hamburgers and fried bread, and you might approach 100,000 kJ.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 4:09
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    @Oddthinking Americans use kcal too, we just call them calories Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 6:08
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    @TheEnvironmentalist Us Europeans use kcal, write kcal, but say calories.
    – orlp
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 8:55
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    @TheEnvironmentalist: Yes, Americans use kcals, weirdly call them Calories (often with a capital C, to to indicate "big Calories"). Wikipedia calls it kcal, but its source calls it calories. Australia has been transitioning to metric for about 45 years, so we talk about something being "high in calories", but tend to work in kilojoules (YMMV). Dr Karl is Australian. Hence the opportunity for a conversion error.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 9:01
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    @Oddthinking I think he just ate the Fool's Gold Loaf one time, February 1st, 1976. He flew from Graceland to Denver, about 1000 miles, with Denver law-enforcement friends, just to eat it. The owner of the Colorado Mine Company brought 22 loaves to the airport. They all ate in the airport and flew back home. No evidence he ate these things regularly. What he really ate were normal size peanut butter and banana sandwiches (sometimes with bacon).
    – DavePhD
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 13:29

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