Teen Dies After Eating Spicy Chip Challenge

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Tragic Consequences of the “One Chip Challenge”

When Harris Wolobah, a 14-year-old student from Massachusetts, tragically passed away last fall, his family suspected a viral spicy potato chip he had ingested just hours prior could be the cause. Sadly, their suspicions were confirmed by an autopsy report obtained by the Associated Press.

The high school sophomore met his untimely demise on September 23, 2023, after consuming a Paqui brand chip known as the “One Chip Challenge.” This particular chip was coated with the scorching hot Carolina Reaper and Naga Viper peppers. Wolobah tried the chip while at school and soon after visited the nurse’s office, complaining of intense stomach pain. Subsequently, he was sent home, but his condition rapidly deteriorated, leading to his hospitalization and eventual passing.

The autopsy report, as revealed by the Associated Press, cited the cause of death as cardiopulmonary arrest, attributed to the recent ingestion of a food substance with a high capsaicin concentration. Furthermore, it was disclosed that the young boy had an enlarged heart and a congenital heart defect, although it remains uncertain whether these conditions were known to either Wolobah or his family prior to his tragic death.

Origin and Popularity of the Challenge

The Paqui “One Chip Challenge” chips were initially launched in 2016 and swiftly gained immense popularity after capturing the attention of social media users. Celebrities such as Tony Hawk and Shaquille O’Neal partook in the challenge, resulting in viral content flooding platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Numerous clips circulating online highlighted the severity of this culinary test, with one notable instance in Denver where a local TV news anchor actually vomited on air after attempting the challenge in 2017.

“So, what really happened… this morning with the ‘one chip challenge’? I thought I was okay until I had a drink of my coffee to wash down the chip. I threw up, couldn’t breathe and felt like fire was coming out of my mouth, nose and ears…”

The packaging of the chips did include a warning advising against consumption by children, yet no formal prohibition against sales to minors was in place. Prior to Wolobah’s unfortunate passing, there had been numerous reports of children experiencing adverse effects from undertaking the challenge, highlighting a clear danger associated with the consumption of such intensely spicy food items.

Following the tragic incident involving Wolobah, Paqui promptly ceased the sale of the “One Chip Challenge” chips and removed any playful advertising associated with the product from their website.

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About Post Author

Chris Jones

Hey there! 👋 I'm Chris, 34 yo from Toronto (CA), I'm a journalist with a PhD in journalism and mass communication. For 5 years, I worked for some local publications as an envoy and reporter. Today, I work as 'content publisher' for InformOverload. 📰🌐 Passionate about global news, I cover a wide range of topics including technology, business, healthcare, sports, finance, and more. If you want to know more or interact with me, visit my social channels, or send me a message.
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