A YouTube diet fad is spreading a practice that is putting many young girls at risk, it is called the Cotton Ball Diet. Health professionals are asking that the public educates them about this form of eating disorder, before it can negatively impact the lives of more young women. The practice involves soaking cotton balls in orange juice or lemonade, then these are swallowed whole. Many girls believe the cotton balls grow in their stomach. This expansion gives individuals a feeling of being full, so that they don't need to eat, as often daily.
The Cotton Ball Diet is promoted similarly to drugs like Lipozene, that are used for appetite suppression. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Ingesting synthetic materials like the bleached fibers in cotton balls, endangers the body in several ways. Indigestible matter often forms bezoars, or deadly clumps that usually obstruct areas of the body with organic fibers or human hair. Cotton balls can create an even more difficulties, because they are synthetic and filled with dangerous chemical compounds. The greatest cause for medical concern is potential blockage in the digestive tract.
Finally, there is a worst case scenario resulting for this practice. Young women eating indigestible matter are at higher risk of physical starvation and malnutrition. Blocking the natural digestive system functionality prevents needed vitamins, minerals, proteins, calories and fats from being processed within the body. In a short time, the bodies of young women on the Cotton Ball Diet, stop having the necessary nutrients to survive. If the body is not fatally impacted, girls using the diet are sure to have developmental and growth complications from extreme malnutrition. The facts are simple enough, the Cotton Ball Diet is a eating disorder and should not be used as a method of weight loss.
CEO and president of the National Eating Disorder Association, Lynn Grefe recently gave a clear warning about the Cotton Ball Diet. She explained that this is a practice that is outside the boundaries of normal health care. It is about how women and society views weight, size and beauty. Many people do similar things to stay thin, like eating paper or other matter in hopes of curbing the natural appetite. Massachusetts General Hospital researcher Karmyn Eddy has proposed that eating foreign objects or pica, often starts with nutritional problems. Yet all evidence points toward a psychiatric condition, that has manifested as an eating disorder. Such practices are given a swell of media hype, so that family practitioners are quick to dismiss the inherent dangers they truly pose. What a doctor may pass off as a fad or vanity is actually a signal of more serious and untreated mental illness among young women.
The Cotton Ball Diet is only a symptom of greater issues in our global society. Doctors and patients must be able to communicate openly, it can save lives. Young women have always been at risk, but they shouldn't need to starve themselves before anyone pays attention to them.