A teen regularly ate bags of snacks such as Hot Cheetos and Takis before stomach pains led to a surgery removing her gallbladder. Now her mom wants such snacks put on notice.
That’s according to Memphis, Tennessee’s WREG-TV, which spoke to Rene Craighead about her daughter’s four-bag-a-week habit involving the ultra-spicy, finger-staining, banned-by-schools snacks. And while spicy snacks aren’t tied to gallbladder problems, doctors have blamed the controversial junk foods for kids’ stomach issues.
“She loves them,” Rene Craighead said of her daughter, also named Rene. In a report published Thursday, the mother told the station in a report last week that her child “was eating big bags and would take them to school with her.”
After downing the spicy chips, 17-year-old Rene felt sick to her stomach. A hospital trip later resulted in the gallbladder removal. Medical professionals don’t associate gallbladder problems with certain foods, CBS News reports, but obesity — a condition not helped by high-fat snacks — may make the development of gallstones more likely.
Dr. Cary Cavender, a gastroenterologist at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, told WREG-TV that stomach issues tied to ultra-spicy snacks put kids in his hospital regularly.
“We do see tons of gastritis and ulcer-related stuff due to it,” Cavender told the station. “We probably see around 100 kids a month, easily.”
It’s not the first time a doctor has spoken out: Dr. Yvonne Juarez, a pediatrician in Fresno, California, told the Fresno Bee in 2012 that flaming-hot snacks can up the stomach’s acidity, leading to aches.
“I’ve had patients go to the ER because of it,” she told the newspaper. “It’s insane, absolutely insane.”
Hot Cheetos and Takis burned up the snack world in 2012, with schools in several states banning the foods as unhealthy and disruptive while confiscating them on site. That sparked a black market at some schools, with Takis becoming an underground currency.
Other kids craved the hard stuff, eating Tajin — the chili-lime seasoning not unlike Takis’ flavor — straight out of the packet. “It was only a few schools that noticed it,” Regina Ocampo, a school district nutritional director in Visalia, California, said in 2015.
A firm representing Takis told Newsweek that “Takis are safe to eat, but should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet.
“Takis ingredients fully comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations and all of the ingredients in each flavor are listed in detail on the label. Always check the serving size before snacking.”
Frito-Lays, the maker of Cheetos, told WREG-TV that while food safety comes first for the company, “some consumers may be more sensitive to spicy foods than others” and may avoid spicier snacks.
Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2Lj2oCH