Spoonful of Crazy: The Risks of the Cinnamon Challenge Craze

By Kristin Sidorov
You might be a little perplexed to learn that it's a thing now to attempt to choke down spoonfuls of cinnamon without water. Dubbed "The Cinnamon Challenge," this latest fad's intense and growing popularity seems strange. For one, it seems, well, bizarre and gross, and also, isn't it dangerous?

Yes, actually. And apparently that's the problem. In fact, it's become so popular that the governor of Illinois and a few NBA players have jumped on the Cinnamon Challenge bandwagon, in addition to thousands and thousands of other daring individuals, many of them teens, who have uploaded their challenges to YouTube, which generally depicts the following: An individual holds up giant spoon of cinnamon, eats the cinnamon, and then proceeds to choke and spew cinnamon everywhere while gagging.

Sounds amusing, right? Millions of people think so, and while we all love a good dare, its popularity has health professionals worried. Several people have already been hospitalized, and physicians warn that choking is a serious risk. The cinnamon itself is harmless, but because it's slow to break down, it sticks in the throat and has the potential to be inhaled, causing lung inflammation.

The challenge has become so widespread that school districts around the country are forcefully banning cinnamon and educating parents about this latest trend. Some people who have completed the challenge describe feeling suffocated, and by the looks of it, that's not too far from the truth.

Tell Us: Do you know anyone who has done the Cinnamon Challenge? What happened?

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