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Cotton ball diet – A dangerous fad that can kill you!

This diet is a death wish as it involves eating cotton balls for food.

Written by Kriti Saraswat |Updated : February 28, 2015 11:55 PM IST

cotton ballsFad diets come and go. They are dangerous and can cause serious health hazards and there are a few which should be completely shunned. One such diet which is gaining popularity in fad diet circles is the 'cotton ball diet'.

This new-found diet trend involves eating five balls of cotton dipped in liquids like juices, smoothies, etc before a meal to cut down on food by feeling full. Eating less eventually leads to weight loss which is what its dieters are aiming for. This diet is being followed mostly by teenagers.

Dangers of cotton ball diet

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We cannot stress enough on the fact that consuming inedible objects can lead to grave complications within your body. Eating balls of cotton is highly unhealthy as it can:

  • Cause you to choke as cotton fibres can get blocked in your organs.
  • Can cause severe malnutrition as there are no nutrients in it and dipping them in liquids won't be enough for you.
  • Fainting, fatigue spells and mood swings are common when the body is starved.
  • The cotton balls can cause intestinal tract obstruction.
  • Extreme weight loss due to long hunger spells which is unhealthy.
  • Introducing foreign objects in the digestive system can clog it leading to digestion problems like constipation, etc.
  • Cotton balls also contain other materials like polyester, chemicals, bleach, synthetic fibres, etc which can pose as a health hazard. (Read: Fad is bad: Say no to diets which promise speedy weight loss!)

All the above dangers are life-threatening and can cause death.

An eating disorder

According to experts, this diet is characteristic of an eating disorder called pica which involves eating objects which aren't food, like clay, chalk, and in this case, cotton balls. The craving for such inedible objects results from the deficiency of a particular nutrient and the extreme pressure to stay slim.

Though pica is more common among children and pregnant women, these days, girls as young as 12-16 are resorting to such extreme measures of weight loss. It is vital that parents as well as these teens understand the importance of eating right and not practise such methods of losing weight. (Read: Don't waste time on fad diets says study)

In order to lose weight the right way, engage in physical activities like playing a sport, going for a jog in the morning or evening.

Teenagers have a growing body for which they need 1,800 to 2,100 calories every day. By eating just cotton balls they are harming their bodies by curbing its healthy development. Get these calories by eating the right food.

Never skip breakfast as it is the most important meal of the day and control your intake of junk food, alcohol and smoking.

Eat on time, eat healthy and exercise to lose weight in a safe way and stay away from fad diets as no good can come from it. (Read: 7 ways you can make your teen eat healthy)

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