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Flamin' Hot Cheetos under fire for nutritional value

October 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some Pasadena schools are among several from across the nation that have banned Flamin' Hot Cheetos from campuses. The snacks are under fire because of their nutritional value.

Each of the snack-size bags contains 26 grams of fat and a quarter of the amount of sodium recommended for an entire day. Some experts say the Cheetos are highly addictive.

"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," said clinical psychologist Ashley Gearheardt.

The Pasadena Unified School District has had candy and junk food on its target list for years, not providing it on campus to elementary students and limiting it for older students. The rules are at the discretion of each principal.

The principal of Andrew Jackson Elementary School in Pasadena said if students are caught bringing Flamin' Hot Cheetos to school, the snacks will be confiscated.

"Sometimes they have been taken away and given back to them at the end of the day, or sometimes they're encouraged to sit and eat it in front of the principal or to the teachers, rather than going out there and providing it to other students," said Katia Ahmad, project coordinator for Network for Healthy America.

Frito-Lay, which makes and sells Cheetos, said in a statement that it is, "committed to responsible and ethical marketing practices, which includes not marketing our products to children ages 12 and under. We also do not decide which snacks are available on school campuses and do not sell snack products directly to schools."


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