The Cotton Ball Diet, which started in the fashion industry, is becoming a trend among teenagers with YouTube videos and chat rooms showcasing how to follow it. The dangerous fad involves eating up to five cotton balls that are dipped in orange juice, lemonade or a smoothie in one sitting. The cotton balls fill up your stomach, making you feel full without gaining weight. Some dieters eat the cotton balls before a meal to help them eat less, while others are just surviving on the cotton balls.
This diet is extremely dangerous. Most cotton balls are made of bleached, synthetic fibers that contain a lot of chemicals. By eating cotton balls, you can block the digestive system to the point where surgery is needed. Also, these dieters are not getting enough nutrients, which can cause development and growth issues from being malnourished.
If you see your child watching a video about The Cotton Ball Trend or you hear conversations about the diet, make sure you discuss the associated dangers.
According the National Eating Disorder Association, 40-60 percent of young girls ages 6-12 are concerned with their weight, and the rate of eating disorders in boys continues to increase. If you suspect your child has an eating disorder, talk to your child’s physician to get help.