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Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Under Fire From Schools

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS NEWS) - Could Flamin’ Hot Cheetos be hazardous to your health? Some school districts are banning the snack, claiming it provides no nutritional value — and may even be addictive.

A health teacher from Lyndon B. Johnson Middle School in Albuquerque, N.M. sent a note home with students saying that Flamin’ Hot Cheetos should be snacked on at home, according to CBS affiliate WTVR in Richmond, Virginia. The teacher wrote that the snack had poor nutritional value, often took the place of a lunch, lead to sharing more germs with other students and caused red fingerprints that created a mess for janitors.

She’s not the only educator who has a beef with the spicy snack food. Other school districts in California and New Mexico are attempting to ban Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for their lack of nutritional value, and one school district in Illinois no longer sells the snack in their schools, ABC News reported. “If children were to bring in snacks that are high in fat, high in calories, that’s their choice,” Illinois’ Rockford School District interim superintendent Robert Willis said to ABC News. “We’re not going to be providing those kinds of foods.”

Rita Exposito, principal of Jackson Elementary School in Pasadena, California, told the Chicago Tribune that her school doesn’t allow candy or Hot Cheetos. If they are seen on campus, an administrator takes them from the student.

One ounce of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos — about 21 pieces — is about 160 calories, including 17 percent of the daily suggested serving for fat and 8 percent of serving for saturated fat. It also contain 250 mg — or 10 percent of the daily value — of sodium.

While the snacks may not offer nutritional benefits, are they addictive like teachers are reporting? The Chicago Tribune reported that new research shows “hyperpalatable foods” — salty, fatty or sweet foods – can create a similar brain response as seen in individuals who addicted to illicit substances.

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