University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Teenagers and children today are not only suffering from serious health issues, but also are putting their lives at risk. It is not only the fact that they choose to eat unhealthy, but more so that they have these delicious, mouthwatering, and cheap foods right in their cupboards. “Junk food”, as stated by Gregory Lopez, soared during the 1980’s and 1990’s, doubling among adults in the U.S. and tripling among children (Natural News). Studies show that the number one “Junk food” consumed by children and teenagers were Hot Cheetos. Not only may gastritis come from the consumption of Hot Cheetos, but are also at arm’s length for children, following up with health issues that are quite devastating and are also addicting, to top things off. Hot Cheetos were invented in the 1900’s, as a simple experiment. At first it was seen as a simple and innocent creation, but later on took a toll on the children. I was able to discuss the Hot Cheetos topic with my cousin Guadalupe and understand the effects these chips caused her. At first she did not feel any sort of symptoms or pains, but little by little, she began experiencing a pain in her stomach. She began throwing-up everything she ate, right after eating the chips.
She would spend sleepless nights getting up and down, just to throw up, because Hot Cheetos irritated her stomach way too much! “As soon as I ate Hot Cheetos, I would feel my stomach begin to burn up, but I did not understand why. If everyone else could eat them, why couldn’t I. Sometimes I wondered if I was the only one.”Clearly she wasn’t the only one, and her stomach pains had a name. As addressed by ABC News, Hot Cheetos cause gastritis and a change of pH in one’s stomach. “Super spicy chips and snack foods have come under attack as being unhealthy,” ABC News addressed. The health issue is not so much of an issue, but more directly, what the effects of the spiciness can cause the body to undergo. Doctors have seen cases where kids are going into the ER with gastritis, “an inflamed stomach lining.” According to Andrew Medina, he experienced stomach pain on and off for weeks before seeing a doctor, as told by ABC News. “It’s like if you have a bruise or something. It really hurts a lot.”
Regardless of the symptoms Andrew, along with other children still consumed 20-30 bags including snacks, a month. Not only are kids messing up their stomachs, but more so making unnecessary visits to the ER. Dr. Martha Rivera, a pediatrician at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles said, “We have a population who loves to eat the hot spicy, not real foods, and they come in with these real complaints.” Dr. Rivera was not only a witness of the negative effects of Hot Cheetos, but also came to the awful conclusion that kids do not think of their health for once. Following up with Dr. Rivera’s comment, Dr. Robert Glatter, an ER physician, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, agreed that kids are constantly eating this snack that has quantities of unreal spicy flavoring. According to Glatter, he has not had many cases where patients come in complaining that their stomach is burning up due to consuming large amounts of spicy salsa.
More cases of visits to the ER are seen when ingesting unreal foods, rather than natural ones, like the spicy salsa. It makes sense that spicy salsa does not cause as much problems as the one on Hot Cheetos, because where one is made of natural ingredients, the other one is not. Not only are we feeding venom to our bodies, but also killing it, little by little. Think how much in excess and unnecessary ingredients are used when making unhealthy foods, rather than when one makes healthy foods. Hot Cheetos are known to be, “an affordable snack that is sweet and calorie-dense” and is available in urban environments as stated by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. Not only did the Yale-New Haven Teachers find that living in the poorer and urban parts of the city highly affected the health and well-being of children, but more so that because of this “flammable” unhealthy food, the rates of obesity were increasing. Studies shown that the poorer the community was, the more convenient stores there were. “This trend is statistically significant across the United States with 1.3 times as many convenience stores as compared to middle-income urban neighborhoods.” Although this is a very good technique for any corporation, the ones suffering are the children and their health.
Any child would be delighted to have one of these “convenience stores” at arms-length, but it is the parent’s job to incorporate the child’s mind into knowing what is good and what is not. Hot Cheetos have become an addiction for students. Guadalupe could not understand why Hot Cheetos were so addicting for her and could not get out of the habit of eating them. Whenever she would go to the store, she would strictly look for these chips and think of all the wonderful things she could do with them. “I would always buy a bag of chips, take it home and shower it with Tapatio and extra lemon juice.” Even though she knew that doing this was very unhealthy, she chose to do it either way because of the exquisite feeling you feel due to the smell of it. “Once you start eating them, they are kind of addicting, and you can’t help it, you feel like you can do anything and everything is possible.”
Studies have shown that Hot Cheetos trigger a response, which is similar to those created by controlled substances in addicted individuals; something called “hyper palatable foods.” These hyper palatable foods have become an addiction among students of Noble Street Charter School Network and the entire Rockford school district has banned Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, due to nutritional concerns as addressed by Monica Eng. “Although Hot Cheetos deliver high levels of salt, fat and artificial flavors with little nutrients or fiber in return, the same can be said for similar snacks.” Regardless of the lack of healthy nutrients, there are many other snacks that are just as bad as Hot Cheetos, but still are not the best choice. Also, because of the lack of nutrients, obesity rates have tripled since 1980, as expressed by the Chicago Tribune. Hot Cheetos have not only been shown to make people addicted (students in particular), but also have high levels of unhealthy nutrients. Due to the lack of nutrients and “addicting” chemicals did the Chicago Tribune argue against Hot Cheetos, but won nothing, because students are still eating them or purchasing from anywhere close by that sells them.
Hot Cheetos will always be sold, but it is up to the adult, as a parent to take charge of their children’s health, before lamenting something. Studies and nutritionists can only do so much in trying to help us to know what it is we are putting into our bodies. As stated by ABC News, the Yale-New Haven Teachers, and the Chicago Tribune Hot Cheetos are not a healthy snack for children, teenagers, or anybody. Not only does it cause major health problems, like obesity and gastritis but it is also an addicting substance that we might see as scrumptious and tasty, but in reality, it is something that is causing children to have mishaps and unnecessary visits to the ER. It is the parent’s job to know more and take care of their child’s well-being.