Excessive Hot Cheetos Consumption Blamed for 'Bloody Stool Scare'

According to a CBS News story published today, Flamin' Hot Cheetos have been causing something of a panic among parents whose kids shovel the stuff in by the bagful, resulting in a reddish stool that sends them running to the emergency room.

The story itself is new, but the panic isn't: It's been around for years.

But doctors, nutritionists, and public health advocates, who have been working overtime to get the cult snack banned in school across the country, say it's necessary to keep reminding parents that, although the red poo isn't a sign of an immediate medical problem, it suggests the child may be overindulging.

"Even though we might eat some foods with red food dye in them regularly, our stool doesn't usually become discolored unless you eat huge amounts of it," pediatrician Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann of St. Louis Children's Hospital told a local CBS affiliate. "Flamin' Hot Cheetos is one food that people will eat enormous amounts of and will see a change in their stool."

Hot Cheetos, as they're more commonly known, fall into a category of snacks considered "hyperpalatable" — i.e., particularly addictive — due to their extremely high fat and salt content.

This has led to their ban in several school districts where kids have apparently been substituting entire meals for a bag of the good stuff.

[image via Frito Lay]