This Popular Snack is Sending Kids to the Hospital

Parents, you have a new food to be worried about when it comes to the health of your children. While some kids avoid spicy foods, others can’t get enough of them. However, it turns up the spicy foods in your pantry could be dangerous to your child.
Emergency room doctors have been treating children who have developed gastritis– a painful inflammation or erosion of the stomach lining. The root cause?

Dr. Martha Rivera from White Memorial Medical Center said on any given day, she sees 5 or more cases of children with gastritis, due to eating hot chips and sweets. “We have a population who enjoys to consume the hot spicy, not real foods, and they come in with these real complaints,” she stated.

After weeks of experiencing on-and-off stomach pain, 12-year-old Andrew Medina told his mom he needed to see a doctor. Medina eats bags of spicy chips and snacks on a regular basis. He estimated that he eats about 20-30 bags every month.

Gastritis Caused By Spicy Cheetos

Gastritis is known as an inflammation, disintegration or irritation of the lining of the stomach. It can begin suddenly or very slowly. In many cases, gastritis can cause ulcers and an increased danger of stomach cancer.

Symptoms include:

  • Gnawing or burning ache or pain (indigestion) in your upper abdominal area
  • A feeling of fullness in your upper abdominal area after eating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Hiccups

Doctors and pediatricians worldwide are claiming that hot Cheetos and other spicy snacks are causing preventable emergency room visits. Dr. Rivera discussed that the artificially flavored hot chips can increase level of acidity in the fragile lining of the stomach. “It burns when it goes down, it burns when it comes out,” she stated.

Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos are spicy enough to change the pH balance of a child’s stomach, which results in developing gastritis.
Dr. Robert Glatter is an emergency clinic doctor at Lenox Hill Healthcare facility in New York city. He said he believed that the flavoring coating on the chips and snacks could be what’s triggering the stomach pH to change. Glatter explained, “It’s almost like a food addiction. They seek out the burn … It’s like ‘how much can I endure?’ and I’ve seen a many children who consume four or five bags and can be found screaming in pain.

Many school districts have forbidden the snacks due to their poor nutritional content. While Frito Lay has not responded to this current issue, they did release a statement about the school restrictions. They said the company is “committed to responsible and ethical marketing practices, which includes not marketing out products to children ages 12 and under.