You've probably seen the many "cinnamon challenge" videos on YouTube, in which a variety of people attempt to swallow a tablespoon of ground cinnamon with usually disastrous results. It looks like a lot of fun, but you can probably guess that an activity that results in coughing, wheezing, and immense discomfort at the very least isn't exactly the secret to excellent health. Luckily, the Times is on it.
The newspaper's Well blog reports on findings from medical journal Pediatrics, whose research notes a steady rise in Poison Control calls related to the challenge. And, while many people may be aware of the immediate effects like "dragon breath," there are long-term issues as well, including inflammation and scarring of the lungs (which a doctor quoted in the article calls "equivalent to getting emphysema"). The report says there have even been people with collapsed lungs and in ventilators as a result. We personally would never have the guts to try it, even before reading these stats, but if you were thinking about it, you might want to check this out first. (Well)
Photo: Via The New York Times.