Parents, beware: the spicy snacks in your pantry may be dangerous to your kids—and not because they lack nutritional value. Emergency room doctors are reporting treating more and more kids every day who have developed gastritis—a painful inflammation or erosion of the stomach lining—after eating Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos.
Doctors say that the snacks change the pH balance in the stomach, making it painfully acidic. And it’s not just the spice content—your jar of salsa can rest easy—doctors also believe that it’s the flavor coating on the Cheetos that’s contributing to the change in pH.
Now, multiple school districts have banned the sale of the Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos on school grounds. Frito Lay, which makes and sells the snack, responded with the statement that they’re “committed to responsible and ethical practices, which includes not marketing our products to children ages 12 and under.” Sort of hard to believe them though, considering that the Cheetos brand mascot is an anthropomorphic cartoon cheetah.