America is not doing well by its children. They need enough room to experiment and take risks, but not so much room that, as a group, they systematically destroy their stomach linings. But, instead of guiding and protecting kids, we’ve given them snacks like Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos. And they’re eating them. And ending up in the emergency room.

Doctors report seeing five to six kids a day who have eaten enough of the super-spicy snacks that they’ve managed to change the pH balance of their stomach and develop gastritis — Inflamin’ Hot Crunchy Stomach Lining.

One doctor told ABC News:

“It’s almost like a food addiction. They seek out the burn,” said Glatter. “It’s a little thrill-seeking. ‘It’s like how much can I tolerate?’ and I’ve seen a number of children who eat four or five bags and come in screaming in pain.”

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Clearly we need to start having motivational speakers and after-school specials about the dangers of Cheetos.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.