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Dangerous fad diet involves kids eating cotton balls

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A dangerous new diet fad is catching on with teens and women who are looking to lose weight quickly. Known as the "cotton ball diet" women are ingesting synthetic cotton balls soaked in juice as a means of feeling full without eating actual food.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the bid to keep the pounds off, people will try just about anything. From tapeworms to drastic surgery, men and women in particular, have adopted some very strange eating habits.

The latest is the "cotton ball diet" where dieters consume several cotton balls, usually soaked in juice, before swallowing the fluffy-white material. The trend is proving especially popular among teen girls who are sneaking into it as a means of staying slim.

However, the diet is incredibly dangerous. Doctors warn that the balls can become stuck, causing suffocation, and later clogging the bowels so that digested material cannot pass. The latter situation would lead to a very painful and dangerous condition.

People who consume cotton balls are also at risk of malnutrition because the cotton has no nutritional value, and the juice in which they are soaked usually has minimal value.

In fact, the cotton balls themselves aren't even cotton, but are made of polyester fibers which is composed of various chemicals, not intended for human consumption.

So far, no deaths have been reported because of the fad, but as it grows in popularity the number of people trying it will certainly result in harm to someone.

The cotton ball diet isn't entirely new, although the fad is just now catching on and gaining publicity. Models say the diet has been used in the fashion industry to help them stay slim.

Doctors, and common sense warn that the diet is very dangerous. Psychologists say the diet may even qualify as a full-blown eating disorder, known as pica, where people crave indigestible foods. Other forms of pica involve the consumption of wood, dirt, and hair. Cotton balls would also qualify.

Have you heard of the cotton ball diet? If so, what are your thoughts on this peculiar fad?

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