A Dangerous Trend: The Cotton Ball Diet
by Laura Monteverdi, Reporter
December 06, 2013 10:02 PM
From strict, liquid-only diets, to a diet that encourages you to gulp air rather than eat, people have gone to some bizarre lengths to lose weight.
However, now some people are using a common household item to shed the pounds, and doctors warn it's not the kind of fiber you want in your diet.
“There are so many fad diets, but this is probably one of the most unique fad diets I have ever come across," Director of Health and Wellness at Dakota Care, Trisha Dohn.
The name says it all.
The "Cotton Ball Diet" is one of the newest and dangerous ways women and young girls are turning to, to lose weight.
“I wouldn't even call it a diet,” said Chief Medical Officer at Dakota Care, Dr. Amundson. “This is a way of tricking the body of thinking its full, thinking it’s getting nutrition, when actually its causing a lot of harm.”
YouTube videos show young women dipping cotton balls in orange juice or alcoholic beverages and swallowing them.
“After 5-6 cotton balls, they are already feeling full, and feeling that satisfaction and not needing to actually eat foods," explained Dohn.
What these videos aren't showing are the dangerous side effects this type of so-called dieting can have on your body.
“Once it's in the stomach, typically it stays there and forms a glob, for lack of a better term, and can form a very large and obstructing mass in the stomach so that no food is able to pass," said Amundson.
What's even more disturbing, is even if this diet is just a fad, doctors say it's just a matter of time before a newer and even more harmful method of losing weight takes its place.
“This is kind of the in vogue type of substance right now, but it can be anything that isn't biologic, isn't a food substance and doesn't have any nutritional value," said Amundson.
Doctors say most cotton ball aren’t actually made of cotton, but rather bleached, polyester fibers that contain a lot of chemicals and can be dangerous to consume.
They recommend eating foods that are high in fiber like fruits, vegetables and whole grains to get that feeling of fullness.