While some kids may be put off by the "HOT!" label on certain snack foods, others enjoy these mouth-watering treats. Oftentimes, other than a tongue that feels like it's on fire and the occasional heartburn, spicy chips and other foods may seem to have little to no effect on our bodies. However, according to Medical Daily, one of your child's favorites may be doing a number on his or her stomach lining.1
Flamin' Hot Cheetos®
The source reported that pediatricians across the U.S. are thinking these cheesy treats may be the cause of some otherwise unnecessary trips to the ER. In some cases, kids have been reported to double over due to stomach pain, while others are believed to have found blood in their stool. Although a number of schools across the country no longer provide vending machines with these snacks and others, due to their lack of nutritional value, that doesn't mean kids can't still get their hands on a bag.
"Once you start eating them, they are kind of addicting, and you can't help it," student Zian Garcia from Lake View High School in Chicago, Ill., told the Chicago Tribune. "I have been eating them for years, and I cannot stop. I just have this urge to eat them."2
Medial Daily reported that some medical professionals have suggested that foods like these Cheetos® may have addictive qualities. This may be due to the amounts of fat and salt found in the products. The popularity of Flamin' Hot Cheetos® has led to other brands coming out with comparable varieties, giving kids more options to choose from.
However, it's important to know that as with most things, these Cheetos® may be just fine in moderation. Fox News reports that one of the children who suffered stomach pain after eating the chips was consuming 20 or 30 bags monthly.3 It's no wonder that this amount of consumption of a spicy processed food might lead to gastritis, which has symptoms of bloating and vomiting. Kids who snack on Flamin' Hot Cheetos® or other hot-and-spicy chips and pretzels occasionally will likely not have such severe reactions.
Parents play an important role in dictating what their children eat by monitoring what foods are kept in the house. In order to reduce the amount of processed foods or other items that may be dangerous to their health, mom and dad should up the amount of string cheese, fresh fruit and veggies in the refrigerator. Although it can be difficult to prevent a child from eating poorly outside of the house, leading by an example can prevent overdoing it when it comes to enjoying junk foods from time to time.
1 Medical Daily, "Spicy chips, Cheetos inflame your mouth … and your stomach" November 16, 2013
2 Chicago Tribune, "Flamin' Hot Cheetos inspire fanatic loyalty among kids" October 11, 2012
3 Fox News, "Spicy snack foods sending children to the emergency room, experts claim" November 18, 2013