Dangerous Diets: The Cotton Ball Diet
The cotton ball diet is sadly a diet trend that keeps growing in popularity. The diet is most popular among models who are constantly feeling the pressure of staying within industry imposed weight standards. Back in June, in an interview for Good Morning America, Bria Murphy, Eddie Murphy’s model daughter exposed this very dark side of modeling, which seems like the answer to coping with the pressures of modeling. Even more disturbing is the fact that many teenage girls are also jumping on board of this dangerous diet trend in hopes of getting the “perfect” body. Many of them are in the 9 to 16 age range, which is revealing clue as to how early eating disorders really begin manifesting themselves.
Basically, the idea behind this dangerous diet is eating up to five cotton balls in a sitting by dipping them in orange juice, lemonade or smoothies. The liquid of choice is less important since its role is to act as lubricant and make the cotton balls a little more palatable.
Some dieters use these “meals” as a way to limit their food intake throughout the day, however, some dieters take the idea to the extreme and substitute all of their meals with this recipe. It doesn’t take a degree in medicine to realize that eating something that isn’t intended for this purpose can’t possibly be healthy, but what exactly are the cotton ball diet dangers?
Turns out, there are plenty of them. For one, most cotton balls aren’t made exclusively out of cotton unless they’re made of certified organic cotton, which tends to be quite expensive. They likely have polyester fibers in them and have been bleached, which means dieters are ingesting a lot of dangerous chemicals, including pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. A second very serious problem is the risk of chocking. “One concern would be choking on the cotton ball itself or even accidentally aspirating it into your lungs,” Dr. Doug Nunamaker, a physician at the direct care practice Atlas, MD told Diets in Review.
That isn’t even the biggest risk. “The biggest concern is it can cause a blockage in (people’s) digestive system, and if that happens to a certain extent, they are going to end up in surgery,” stated Jennifer Lombardi, an anorexia survivor-turned treatment professional at the Eating Recovery Center of California, who compared using the cotton ball diet to shed unwanted pounds to playing Russian roulette. Indeed, the cotton ball diet can be the beginning of a lifelong struggle with weight and body image with serious long term consequences.
Other cotton diet side effects include lack of energy, weakness and disorientation, anemia, hair loss, dried skin and even organ failure and death. No temporary weight loss is ever worth taking such a huge gamble with one’s health.
Source: abc News
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