A 14-year-old Massachusetts teen is dead after his family said he participated in the “One Chip Challenge.”
The challenge is a social media dare that involves eating what is billed as the spiciest tortilla chip in the world and then waiting to take a drink of water, according to WBTS-CD. The chip, which is made by Paqui, comes in a container shaped like a coffin.
On Friday, Harris Wolobah, 14, a student at Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester died on the same day he participated in the challenge, according to WCVB-TV.
On a GoFundMe page, family members said they believe participating in the challenge led to the teen’s death. Officials have not yet issued a cause of death.
According to WBTS, Wolobah did not feel well in school on Friday after eating the chip and went to the nurse’s office.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 5, 2023
Wolobah was picked up from school by his mother, Lois Wolobah.
Lois Wolobah said her son told her a classmate gave him the chip.
She said that although her son felt better after coming home, his brother told her that he had passed out, prompting a call for help.
At 4:30 p.m. first responders went to Wolobah’s residence, where he was not breathing. He was taken to a hospital but was pronounced dead there.
Father Jonathan Slavinskas said the incident was part of a wider issue, according to WCVB-TV.
“This pauses you for a moment and makes you question, ‘What is going on? How did this happen?’” he said.
Dr. Lauren Rice of Tufts Medical Center said she has seen multiple health issues connected with the challenge.
“Sometimes we’ll see people that are having a lot of chest pain, or they will experience things like, palpitations as well, so a whole variety of issues that we’re seeing with this one chip challenge,” she said.
According to the website Poision.org, the chip contains “capsaicin, a compound found naturally in chili peppers. Capsaicin consumption typically causes mouth and throat pain but can also result in more serious health problems including heart attack and esophageal damage.”
“People who eat capsaicin-containing products, including tortilla chips featured in the Paqui One Chip Challenge, often experience mouth irritation, pain, or burning, along with intestinal discomfort,” the site said
“Capsaicin consumption can also cause more serious health problems, including chest pain, heart palpitations, and even heart attacks. Consumption of larger amounts of capsaicin can also cause repeated vomiting that can lead to life-threatening esophageal damage. Because of this, people should use caution when consuming foods or products that contain capsaicin,” the site said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.