ROCKFORD, Ill. (WKOW) – A snack food loved by kids and scorned by nutritionists is being banned by many schools around the country.
At issue are Flamin' Hot Cheetos, which school officials say have little to no nutritional value. Each bag contains 26 grams of fat and a quarter of the amount of salt that's recommended for the entire day.
School districts in California and New Mexico are trying to ban them. Rockford Public Schools in Illinois have already taken them off their menu; even though they used to sell about 150 thousands bags of Flamin' Hot Cheetos each year.
"If children were to bring in snacks that are high in fat, high in calories that's their choice. We're not going to be providing those kinds of foods," said Robert Willis, Interim Superintendent in Rockford.
Some experts also say the hot Cheetos are highly addictive. Dr. Ashley Gearhardt, a Clinical Psychologist at the University of Michigan says, "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." Dr. Gearhardt also says children are more susceptible because their bodies are still developing.
Frito Lay, which makes and sells the Cheetos brand, says it is "committed to responsible and ethical marketing practices, which includes not marketing our products to children ages 12 and under."