New Teen Trend: The Cinnamon Challenge

First it was nutmeg. Now, there is a new viral internet trend that has many health professionals and parents across the country very concerned. It is called the cinnamon challenge, and it involves an individual trying to digest a tablespoon of the common ingredient. Thousands of videos have been uploaded online in recent months showing young people choking and gagging while trying to down the cinnamon. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this phenomenon is that people continue to attempt it, even though it clearly cannot be accomplished.

Health Concerns

Health officials claim that even though these kids think they are having a good time attempting a dare, they are actually putting their health in serious jeopardy. In a few cases, people have died attempting this as cinnamon has gotten into their lungs and collapsed their airwaves. It can also cause long term scarring of the lungs which can have lasting health repercussions.


School and health officials around the country are trying to warn both parents and students about the dangers associated with this stunt. However, it does not seem to be making much of an impact, as hundreds of videos are uploaded a day showing a kid throwing up a cloud of cinnamon all over the place. In fact, the most popular video of the cinnamon challenge on YouTube has over 10 million hits.

Viral Media

Why would people want to attempt something that they know is going to end badly for them? It does not appear that anyone in these videos think they are going to succeed. They all seem to start the same way, with a couple of giggles from behind the camera, and then end with an obviously nervous person shoveling cinnamon down their throats and choking while tears roll down their face. Peer pressure at its finest. Captured on camera and broadcast to the world via the internet. It is not so much the act itself that is disturbing, but the fact that young people seem more concerned with being viewed as cool by their peers rather than their actual well-being.

New Phenomenon?

Some people may say this is nothing new and should not be worried about. They say it is just kids being kids. However, there is something to be worried about when an entire generation seems to care more about being famous on YouTube than they do with their health. It seems to be a common trend with young people today. Kids see other kids getting all kinds of attention (from us) when they attempt ridiculous or dangerous things on camera. Maybe if we gave kids attention before they did something incredibly dangerous, like talking to them about the major risks associated with these acts, they might not attempt it in the first place.

In the end, kids are always going to try and look cool in front of their friends. It just so happens that most young kids have hundred, if not thousands, of “friends” on the internet, and the only way to get their attention is to do something extreme. Hopefully, this kind of thinking will change if we start ignoring them when they act out like this. Kids who attempt harmful stunts like the cinnamon challenge should ask themselves, “Am I addicted to seeking my friend’s approval?”


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