Teenager dies after trying TikTok's viral 'One Chip Challenge'

A food challenge that is spreading all over social media turned fatal for one teenager in the US. Here's why parents should take note.

Teenager dies after trying TikTok's viral 'One Chip Challenge'
© Grace Cary
Teenager dies after trying TikTok's viral 'One Chip Challenge'

Social media in general, and TikTok in particular have become the most popular platforms for recipes, food hacks, and viral trends. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to keep up with the hottest new food trend, problems emerge when people take TikTok pranks and new challenges a little too far, and onto unhealthy territories. In fact, earlier this year, there were multiple arrests over a horrific TikTok prank.

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Now, as reported by Daily Mail, a teenager has died participating in a new viral food challenge on TikTok.

TikTok's new 'One Chip Challenge'

'One Chip Challenge' that has been going viral all over TikTok, involves eating a single tortilla chip, which is supposed to be the hottest chip on the planet.

The chip is sold by the brand Paqui. It has been promoting the chip challenge since 2016. With the chips now easily available on Amazon from last month, a lot more people have been able to access it. Packaged in a coffin-shaped boxes, these chips are not for the faint of heart.

Multiple videos on TikTok show people eat a single chip, and then writhe and cry in agony as the intense heat of the chip takes over their bodies. Most of these videos are meant for laughs but this challenge has now taken a very dark turn, as it turned fatal for one teenager in the US.


Replying to @spicymamabears Comment what we should do next 😬 #spicy

♬ original sound - the cheeky boyos

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Teenager dies after 'One Chip Challenge'

Harris Wolobah, from Massachusetts was only 14-years-old. He died on September 1 following the consumption of one of these Paqui crisps. Now medical experts are warning people to avoid taking part in the viral craze, advising parents to be aware of the dangers of this challenge.

Harris' family believes that the teenager's death was due to the health complications that followed the food challenge. He felt ill at school and had severe stomach ache. He collapsed a few hours later at home, and though he was rushed to the hospital, he eventually died.

As per the Daily Mail, health experts have pointed out that capsaicin, the active compound in chilli peppers, could potentially be fatal in high doses.

Dr Melanie Ribbeck, of the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston, Texas, highlighted the dangers of consuming large amount of capsaicin, telling Fox26Houston,

There is the potential for dangerous side-effects from consuming large amounts of capsaicin.  Repeated episodes of vomiting after eating something hot that can damage your oesophagus.  There are also reports of people experiencing chest pains or having heart attacks.

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Sources used:

Daily Mail: 'Warning over dangerous TikTok 'One Chip Challenge' spreading like wildfire on social media which sees people eat extremely spicy tortillas - after US teenager, 14, died while taking part in viral craze'

Fox26Houston: Parents warned of dangers of TikTok's one-chip challenge after teen dies hours after participating

TikTok: @cheekyboyos

'One Chip challenge' removed from aisles, find out what it's really made of 'One Chip challenge' removed from aisles, find out what it's really made of