from The Los Angeles Times

Abcarian: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and iPhones are ruining my kid and yours

by Robin Abcarian

Bags of Cheetos Flamin' Hot Crunchy are displayed for sale at Touchdown Food Mart, September 27, 2012, in Chicago, Illinois. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
California lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban from public schools foods that contain certain dyes linked to brain changes, among them a dye in Cheetos. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune / Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

With apologies to Allen Ginsberg:

I am seeing the best minds of our middle-school generation destroyed by Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and iPhones, 

Teenagers on the cusp of young adulthood dragging themselves out of bed each day to mainline TikTok and Snapchat, 

Measuring themselves by the yardstick of uber-filtered Kardashian perfection and falling short,

Getting expelled from school for sending AI-generated naked photos of classmates.

I want to howl about what’s happening to our kids. Between the negative brain effects of ultra-processed foods, and what can only be described as smartphone use disorder, something has gone terribly awry.

As it happens, you’ve caught me at a bad moment. In our home lately, the 13-year-old and I seem to be having daily conflicts over food and phones.

When she moved in with me at age 8, she had a smartphone, which I immediately put away. Her preference for ultra-processed food was already well-established; she’d been raised on a diet heavy on fast food and Lunchables.

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