Krispy Kreme
A Colorado man choked to death on a doughnut during a speed-eating challenge (file photo) Saul Loeb/ AFP

A 42-year-old man has choked to death in Denver, Colorado, while attempting to devour a half-pound doughnut in an extreme-eating contest.

Travis Malouff's passing came on the same day as 20-year-old Connecticut college student, Caitlyn Nelson, fatally choked as she tried to speed-eat a pile of pancakes during a charity event.

Paramedics were called just after 1am on Sunday (2 April) after receiving reports of a man choking. Malouff was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Denver Office of the Medical Examiner, Malouff died from asphyxia due to obstruction of the airway.

Malouff was reportedly taking part in the the "Tex-Ass" challenge, at a Denver branch of the Voodoo Doughnut chain, when tragedy struck.

The challenge sees participants try and eat a monster doughnut six times the normal size in under 80 seconds.

Eyewitness Julia Edelstein told KUSA-TV: "It's too much food for one person, even as the size that he was. That's too much for someone to eat. He was trying to force it down."

Travis's father Curtis Malouff told KUSA: "It's tragic. It's a loss of life that shouldn't be. If a challenge is there -- he'd probably take it."

A spokeswoman for the Oregon-based Voodoo Doughnut chain said in a statement that the company's heart went out for the dead man's family, but that it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Within hours, Nelson, a social work major at the Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, also lost her life in a pancake-eating contest.

The student, who suffered from multiple food allergies, began choking during her attempt. Police say two nurses at the contest tried to save her life until paramedics arrived, but Nelson died in a New York hospital two days later.

Nelson was five years old when her father James Nelson, a New York policeman, died in the 9/11 attacks.