Flamin’ Hot Cheetos face ban from California and New Mexico schools
Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – School districts in California and New Mexico are attempting to prohibit popular snack food Flamin’ Hot Cheetos because its amount of fat and salt are considered harmful to students’ health.
Several schools in Pasadena and one school district in Illinois have already banned the snack.
According to school authorities, the concern is its lack of nutritional value because each bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos has 26 grams of fat and a quarter of the amount of sodium recommended for the whole day.
Food expert said that aside from the artificial coloring and flavoring, Cheetos are considered hyperpalatable, therefore, are highly addictive.
Hyperpalatable refers to those salty, fatty or sweet foods that can simulate a brain response such as those seen in people who are addicted to illicit stuffs.
Ashley Gearhardt, a clinical psychologist at the University of Michigan, noted that “Our brain is really hardwired to find things like fat and salt really rewarding and now we have foods that have them in such high levels that it can trigger an addictive process.”
The Pasadena Unified School District, where principals decide on food choices in their schools, has eliminated candy and junk food at elementary school campuses and restricted such snacks for older students.
A school district in Illinois, which sold 150,000 bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos each year, removed the chips from its menu.
Rockford School District Interim Superintendent Robert Willis stated that it is the children’s choice if they want to bring in snacks that are high in fat, high in calories but the school will not provide those kinds of foods.
Frito-Lay, the company that manufactures Flamin’ Hot Cheetos said that they are “committed to responsible and ethical marketing practices, which includes not marketing our products to children ages 12 and under.”
The statement added that “We also do not decide which snacks are available on school campuses and do not sell snack products directly to schools.”