Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Turning Children Into Thrill-Seeking Snack Addicts

Feel the burn.
Feel the burn. Photo: Frito-Lay

Our nation’s sick obsession with spicy food is taking a serious toll on the youth of today, or at least that’s how this news report would have it: After consuming Frito-Lay’s Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, a 12-year-old in L.A. complained of tummy trouble that felt “like if you have a bruise.” It turned out he had gastritis, and, um, also, he puts away “20 or 30” bags of chips each month. Some doctors blame the “spice” aspect of the snack, which actually has nothing to do with chile peppers and Scoville units, and everything to do with the intense mix of maltodextrin, MSG, citric acid, yeast extract, and other dusty additives that are now part of the time-tested junk food codex, just kicked up to eleven. Apparently, the real issue is that kids are eating for kicks, not for nourishment, and it’s just getting worse: “They seek out the burn,” says one ER doctor. “I’ve seen a number of children who eat four or five bags and come in screaming in pain.” [ABC via Foodbeast]