Why Your Doctor Hates The Cinnamon Challenge

Oh man, guys. Some of the latest crazy YouTube trends are getting doctors and parents all worked up, and not to sound like an old person, but I can’t say I really blame them.

Doctors in Chicago are warning parents to make sure their kids stop sniffing around the kitchen looking for food to do dangerous stuff with. And by dangerous stuff, I mean mainly attempting the cinnamon challenge, the marshmallow challenge or snorting nutmeg. Um, what? That was kind of a weird sentence to write. But seriously, there are a bunch of kids and teens out there who are actually getting really hurt trying to do these crazy stunts.

If you’re not big on weird Internet trends, I’ll fill you in. I was introduced to the cinnamon challenge last year, when my little sister and her friends gleefully told me how they spent the afternoon eating mouthfuls of cinnamon and then throwing up. When I stared at them in shocked horror, they told me they put a video on YouTube, no big deal. What is the cinnamon challenge? It’s when you try to eat one full tablespoon of cinnamon without drinking water for 60 seconds.

That might sound relatively harmless, and that’s probably why there are hundreds of videos on YouTube of teens just like my sister attempting to do it themselves. But it’s actually pretty dangerous. As Dr. Christina Hantsch points out, “The dry, loose cinnamon triggers a violent coughing effect and also a burning sensation that actually can lead to breathing and choking hazards.” I have no idea why this became popular, but for some reason, it is.

The marshmallow challenge is pretty weird too. I guess it’s when someone tries to fit as many marshmallows in their mouths as possible. While it does make for some oddly funny videos of puffed up cheeks, it’s not exactly something we should all be doing. Dr. Hantsch notes that two children have already died attempting to stuff marshmallows in their mouth. That’s pretty scary.

While I’ve never heard of the nutmeg snorting craze, apparently it’s a thing. Snorting large amounts of nutmeg creates a hallucinogenic reaction, sort of like a homemade high. Do I even have to say how silly this would be to do?

I know that there are tons of weird trends out there that doctors say teens do when really a lot of teens have never even heard of them (like butt chugging). And obviously I know not all of you do these things. But I’ve personally witnessed the cinnamon and marshmallow challenges being attempted by several people I know. And guys, just don’t do them. I know you want to make a really funny video to share with people, and I know you want to try to get in on what looks like harmless fun. But it’s not so harmless when you can get seriously hurt doing it.

 Have you ever tried the cinnamon, marshmallow or nutmeg challenges? Would you ever? Do you think they’re stupid or funny? Tell us in the comments!


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  • Paulette

    No offense to anybody but I think those challenges are dumb. Honestly, I don’t know why would anyone want do something that is a danger to their health and lives. Just because other people do it doesn’t mean everyone else should. What do we gain from doing these “challenges”?

  • Shelby

    Stuffing marshmallows in your mouth is called Chubby Bunny. My father used to do it. It’s a challenge on how many marshmallows you can fit in your mouth. The winner is the person who has the most marshmallows. It’s not really dangerous, but only if you stuff it in the back in your mouth. .-.

    For the cinnamon thing, it’s the chemicals that dries up your mouth and stuff and gets your body in a panic, since it’s poison, like chocolate to cats.

    I never tried them, but my brother tried to forced me into the Coco Challenge. Similar to the Cinnamon Challange, but coca powder. -.-

  • Serena

    I have tried the cinnamon challenge, and the salt and ice challenge. Once I heard someone died after doing it, I stopped. As for the salt and ice challenge, it didn’t really burn as much. After a minute, i felt burning and it was very cold. When I took that ice off, part of my arm was SOLID FROZEN. I had to get some hot water and thaw it out. To scary. Never try it.

  • Josh(i know this is a girly website)

    I once tried the cinnanom… cinnanomon… cinofgeyrdsycmon (*sigh) challenge, (I can never pronounce it) It was one of the dumbest things I had done in a long time. So I was at my friends house playing videogames, and he was like “bru, yu dun du cinnamononm challenge?” and I was like “nu, bru. I seen it dow” Then he said “we shud do it muen” I unfortunately was like “ye”. Before I knew it, we were on his porch with two big ass spoons of (*inhale) cinnamon (*exhale) in our hands. The next thing I remember is hanging over the railing puking my guts out. It felt like my lungs were being kicked out by little fire monkeys… I literally drank five cups of water and I still didn’t feel better. I also had a wicked headache and was extremely nauseous (I think that’s how it’s spelled) for like 2 days. Moral of the story guys (and gurls) cinnamon will fucking KILL YOU if you dare spite its powers. Thanks for your time. (I came here from Smosh, I’m not a regular here for all you overly masculine haters)

    • fhstjddrtdeva

      If u stuff too many marshmallows in your mouth it will block your passage perventing you from breathing and u cant get the marshmallows out in time.

  • Pym

    Okay, I understand that snorting is crazy and I guess a case could be made for the cinnamon challenge being dangerous (though in reality it’s just dries out your mouth and throat). But stuffing marshmallows in your mouth killing you? How? In my opinion, apart from the nutmeg snorting one, I think this is an over-reaction.

  • Ali Kaye

    I have never done any of those challenges myself, but when I tried using the restroom at school one day, it was blocked off and I could smell large amounts of cinnamon emitting from inside. I found out later that some girls tired it after being dared to.