How Flamin' Hot Cheetos Can Actually Be Dangerous — A Doctor Explains

Rapper Lil Xan's hospitalization after a Flamin' Hot Cheetos incident has fans asking questions.

Rapper Lil Xan (real name Diego Leanos) confessed yesterday to his 5 million Instagram followers that he'd been admitted to the hospital after an unfortunate food incident involving a spicy snack

"Yeah, I went to the hospital today," he shared in a video clip posted to Instagram that shows a hospital ID bracelet around his wrist. "I just want to let everybody know that I was in the hospital not due to any drugs, but I ate too many Hot Cheetos and it ripped something in my stomach."

The rapper didn't explain much about what the actual F happened: Did he eat too many? Did he have an allergy? Did he have a pre-existing condition that caused the stomach rip? Is there something about Flamin' Hot Cheetos that is inherently hazardous to health? We sought answers.

Well, it turns out FHC stomach is real — and it's painful. 

According to Medical Daily, pediatricians claim that “Flamin’ Hot Cheetos send multiple children to the emergency room each year.” The snack’s “Flamin’ Hot Seasoning” (aka maltodextrin, salt, sugar, monosodium glutamate, yeast extract, citric acid, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5) “can lead to severe abdominal pain, ulcers, erosions, peptic ulcer disease, and gastritis.”

“We have a population who loves to eat the hot, spicy, not-real foods, and they come in [to the emergency room] with these real complaints,” according to the report. “The kids are being set up for ulcerations, erosions and… peptic ulcer disease.”

Dr. Nicole Avena, scientist and consultant on nutrition, diet, and food addiction, explains to The Feast that the snack (or similar snacks with ugly additives) not only affect the stomach, but can also cause negative changes in the brain.

“Believe it or not, this is not the first reported case of a young person ending up in the ER from eating too many Hot Cheetos. Many pediatricians have reported that children who consume these snacks in excess can end up with severe stomach pain or gastritis, due to the red pepper and spice in these snacks,” she says. “And on the addiction note, there are many studies that suggest that certain highly processed foods, like these, can effect the brain in ways that resemble a drug. This is part of the reason why kids tend to eat so many of these snacks, and end up sick from them.”

So there you have it, kids. Stay safe out there.

The Feast is Bravo’s digital destination serving culinary inspiration and essential food news. Like us on Facebook and visit daily for diet and wellness trends, kitchen hacks and tools — and the buzziest celebrity, chef, and restaurant happenings you need to know about right now.

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