WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – A social media trend resurfacing on TikTok is causing teenagers to seek medical attention.
It’s the one chip challenge, and three East Texas middle schoolers did it earlier this week and had to go to the hospital.
The challenge is a product sold by Paqui, where one blue tortilla chip is individually wrapped, packaged, and ready to eat.
However the added spice of Carolina Reapers and Scorpion Chile Peppers takes a big physical toll on the body.
“We’ll see diarrhea, we’ll see IBS like symptoms, too,” said Chelsea Macias, registered Dietician Nutritionist.
Macias owns the Food Sensitivity Institute in Waco and has heard about the online challenge.
Recently her neighbors children joined in.
“They said we did the one chip challenge at church, and they were verging on being hospitalized because they just could not have a normal bowel movement, which is really, really sad,” said Macias.
Peppers found on the chip carry capsaicin causing inflammation of the lungs.
A label on the box says to seek medical assistance if you faint, have difficulties breathing or extended nausea.
A group Macias is most concerned for is those with gastrointestinal problems.
“When you’re introducing things into the diet that are extremely inflammatory on the back end, that’s not going to help at all,” said Macias. “In fact, it’ll set you back a couple of days, maybe even weeks.”
Macias says the recovery time will be your body building a defense to then heal.
This leaves the question to why teens are doing this?
Digital Media Butterfly owner Caryn Brown says it is all about the online attention.
“It’s 100 percent a dopamine rush. It’s a dopamine rush to see it,” said Brown. “To see your content get liked, commented, and reshared, that sends off the dopamine signals.”
For anyone tempted to do the challenge for views, Brown has one thing to say.
“What do you want? That college, your dream college, to see on your social media or your dream job to see,” said Brown. “Do you want them to see the one chip challenge or do you want them to say, hey, this guy was really kind to his neighbors, or hey, he had some really cute skits.”
We reached out to Midway and Waco ISD to see if any students have taken part in the challenge.
So far the answer is no and both districts discourage participation.