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The New and Dangerous “Cotton Ball Diet”

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Fad Diet is Incredibly Dangerous

I’ve heard it all, and I’m sure you have, too: from The South Beach Diet to Weight Watchers, there are plenty of diet peddlers out there trying to sell you the next “magic” formula to lose those unwanted pounds.  However, I have to admit that I had never heard of the “cotton ball diet” prior to reading reports of its serious dangers.

“Cotton Ball Diet” Not Really an Eating Plan for Health

Perhaps its unfair to compare the “cotton ball diet” with other diets.  The cotton ball diet doesn’t actually involve eating healthful foods; instead, dieters are told to literally eat cotton balls dipped in juice.  The theory is that the juice, usually orange juice or lemonade, will give the cotton balls flavor and the cotton balls will then keep the dieter full as they expand in the stomach.  Aside from the craziness of eating a non-food item, the cotton ball diet is seriously dangerous.  Nutritionists and other health experts say eating cotton balls can cause a blockage in the digestive system, sometimes necessitating surgery to fix the problem.  As with any extreme diet, the cotton ball diet is not a long-term solution to a weight problem as it robs the body of necessary nutrients.

Diet Isn’t Actually New to Some Circles

President and CEO of The National Eating Disorder Association,  Lynn Gref, says that models are suspected of partaking in the cotton ball diet for many years to maintain their emaciated frames.  What is more disturbing is that the cotton ball diet is starting to go viral, with young girls demonstrating the diet practice on YouTube.   Currently, there are estimated 20 million women and 10 million men suffering from eating disorders, and reports that 40-60% of girls begin to worry about their body size or shape by the age of 6.  It’s no wonder that crazy diets such as the cotton ball diet become fads with such alarming statistics.