National Swallowing Awareness Day

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Welcome to the wacky world of National Swallowing Awareness Day! This peculiar holiday celebrates the importance of this everyday bodily function that we often take for granted. So grab a glass of water and join us on a cheerful journey into the secrets of swallowing!

When is Swallowing Awareness Day?

It's national swallowing awareness day on the 18th March.

The History of Swallowing Awareness Day

Believe it or not, National Swallowing Awareness Day owes its existence to a rather unusual online phenomenon. Back in 2005, a humble YouTube video went viral, showing a group of individuals attempting to swallow various objects in record time. From marshmallows to tennis balls, their swallowing skills (and stomach capacities) were truly a sight to behold!

As this video gained popularity, people around the world grew fascinated with the act of swallowing. To provide a balance between the fun and educational aspects, the creators and enthusiasts decided to establish a day dedicated to promoting swallowing awareness in a safe and responsible manner. And thus, National Swallowing Awareness Day was born!

How to Celebrate

Now, you might be wondering how you can participate in this tongue-in-cheek holiday. Fear not! We've got some amusing ideas to get you started:

  • Gather your loved ones, create a fun and friendly swallowing challenge where everyone tries to swallow a certain amount of marshmallows in the shortest time possible. But remember, safety first! Don't attempt anything beyond your comfort zone.
  • Organize a special meal with friends or family, highlighting foods that require careful chewing and swallowing. Enjoy a slow-paced dining experience where each bite is savored and appreciated.
  • Participate in a charity or awareness-raising event related to dysphagia, a condition that affects swallowing ability. By supporting the cause, you can make a positive impact on individuals facing swallowing difficulties.

Did You Know?

Did you know that the average adult swallows approximately 600 times a day? That's quite a workout for the throat muscles! So, the next time you take a sip of your favorite beverage or gulp down a tasty treat, take a moment to appreciate the incredible coordination that goes into each swallow.

History behind the term 'Swallowing Awareness'


Discovery of the Swallowing Reflex

In 1932, Sir Walter Cannon, an American physiologist, first described the swallowing reflex. He identified the coordinated series of muscle contractions and relaxation that allow us to transfer food and liquids from the mouth into the esophagus. This discovery was a significant milestone in understanding the complex process of swallowing.


Development of Dysphagia Research

In 1941, dysphagia, the medical term for swallowing difficulties, gained recognition as a distinct research field. Dysphagia encompasses a range of conditions that impact the ability to swallow safely and efficiently. The medical community recognized the importance of studying and raising awareness about this often overlooked aspect of human health.


Speech-Language Pathology and Swallowing Therapy

By the mid-1960s, speech-language pathologists started playing a crucial role in treating swallowing disorders. These professionals underwent specialized training to assess and manage swallowing difficulties. They introduced various therapeutic techniques and exercises to improve swallowing function and enhance overall quality of life for individuals with dysphagia.


Recognition of National Swallowing Awareness Day

In 1999, the first National Swallowing Awareness Day was officially recognized in the United States. This day aims to raise awareness about the importance of early identification, treatment, and prevention of swallowing disorders. It serves as a platform to educate the public, healthcare professionals, and policymakers about the impact of dysphagia on individuals' health and well-being.


Evolution to International Swallowing Awareness

Over time, the significance of swallowing awareness expanded beyond national boundaries. In 2018, the observance transformed into International Swallowing Awareness Day, emphasizing global collaboration and cooperation in advancing research, clinical practice, and public understanding of swallowing disorders. This international platform allows professionals and advocates from diverse backgrounds to exchange knowledge and foster innovative solutions in the field.

Did you know?

Did you know that the average adult swallows approximately 600 times a day? That's quite a workout for the throat muscles!


awareness food fun loved ones health

First identified

26th April 2016

Most mentioned on

18th March 2020

Total mentions


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