Teen Almost Dies After Eating Cheetos
MEMPHIS, TN — July 25, 2018
A Memphis, Tennessee area teen, who regularly ate bags of Hot Cheetos and Takis snacks, had to have her gallbladder removed as a result.
It took doctors forever to save her but now her health is still permanently undermined. Her mother just wants the companies who manufacture these snacks put on notice.
The girl's doctor had a long conversation with Rene Craighead about her daughter, who had a four-bag-a-week habit when it came to these ultra-spicy, finger-staining, banned-by-schools snacks.
"She loves them," Rene Craighead explained to a doctor about her daughter, also named Rene. She added 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. She had to be hospitalized immediately, and doctors determine that they had to remove her gallbladder.
Medical professionals don't associate gallbladder problems with certain foods, 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 in Memphis said 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 said. "We probably see around 100 kids a month, easily."
Dr. Yvonne Juarez, a pediatrician in Fresno, California, said that flaming-hot snacks can increase acidity levels in the stomach, leading to intense, acute aches and pains.
"I've had patients go to the ER because of it," she said. "It's insane, absolutely insane."
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. That sparked a black market at some schools, with Takis becoming an underground currency.
A law firm representing Takis has stated that "Takis are safe to eat, but should be enjoyed in moderation as a 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."