WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Spicy foods are among some of the most popular snacks in America today. A poll by The Harris Poll showed that 69% of Millennials and 73% of Gen Z buy spicy snacks for themselves or someone in their household.

Common spicy snacks include Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Takis, and Flamin’ Hot Doritos.

Dr. Amy Seery, a pediatrician at Ascension Via Christi, says that eating too many of these snacks can lead to stomach issues, an issue she is seeing in children.

“Really spicy snack foods have grown in popularity,” Seery said. “And unfortunately, when kids are consuming large amounts of it or very, very, spicy foods, they’re now coming into our clinics much more often with stomach complaints.”

Many Americans turned to snacking during the pandemic, which Seery said is something she has seen in kids. The International Food Information Council said that 41% of consumers under 35 snacked more than normal in 2020.

“With the pandemic, we certainly noticed a lot of kids have taken on more aggressive snacking habits,” Seery said. “And what they’re choosing to snack on these days is causing problems for some of our kiddos.”

While there is not a specific brand that causes more problems, it is fairly easy to spot which snacks may need to be moderated by parents. According to doctors, if a package is marked with flames, the snack could be a culprit.

A large part of the problem, along with the actual spices in these foods, is that the foods are highly-processed with potent spices, and “some kids’ stomachs handle it very well many kids’ stomachs don’t,” Seery said.

Dr. Seery said some of the symptoms they see in patients are upper-abdominal pain that can sometimes be very sharp, as well as acid reflux. Some kids also are not sleeping very well as a result of these problems.

In some cases, these snacks have the potency to erode the inner lining of the stomach for individuals with sensitive stomachs.

“So that’s why we recommend making children have a nice balanced diet. It’s much gentler on the stomach,” Seery said. “There’s nothing wrong with spicy in moderation.”

Some of the red flags for parents to watch for in their children, doctors say, are unexplained weight loss, pronounced vomiting, persistent diarrhea beyond two weeks, and extremely sharp abdominal pain.

According to Seery, if parents notice a pattern of abdominal discomfort, the first step should be to stop the spic foods. This can save families trips to the doctor, as well as not exposing children to medications they would not need otherwise.

Another way to help keep the body from developing these symptoms, Seery said, is exercise.

“Getting up and getting moving is what our body craves and helps our body function at its best,” Seery said.