Over the years, people have tried some crazy (and dangerous) things in the name of weight loss. Cotton balls are just one of the most recent.
The cotton ball diet is so called due to the fact that those looking for a smaller sized waistline eat cotton balls soaked in juice to suppress their appetite and drastically cut their everyday calorie consumption. But eating cotton balls isn’t just unappetizing. It’s possibly fatal.
According to news sources, the cotton ball diet pattern emerged in the modeling industry, where women are encouraged to remain precariously thin. Eating cotton balls seasoned with juice can help them feel full without taking in food.
The Cotton Ball Diet as an Eating Disorder
Eating cotton balls, or any non-food product, in an effort to drop weight is not a “diet.” It’s disordered eating. And like eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and bingeing, the cotton ball diet has serious possible health threats.
Eating disorders normally stem from body dissatisfaction. About half of people treated for eating disorders also struggle with depression. To puts it simply, individuals who use techniques like the cotton ball diet might be handling some extremely ingrained problems.
Did You Know?
About 20 million American women and 10 million men suffer from an eating condition at some time in their life, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). However this quote might be on the low side because many people with eating conditions are never ever treated.
Severe dieting constantly has dangers, and the cotton ball diet is certainly no exception. Here are simply 4 ways it can cause you substantial damage.
1. Digestive tract Obstruction and Bezoars
Your body can’t absorb cotton balls, so they’ll remain in your stomach or intestines. They may mix with mucus and other food particles, producing a mass called a bezoar.
When something cannot be absorbed, it can obstruct the digestive tract. Preliminary signs of an obstruction include:
- abdominal distention.
A digestive tract obstruction prevents food and liquids from passing through. Left without treatment, it can lead to the death of healthy tissues and infection. An intestinal tract obstruction is a medical emergency, and bezoars must be surgically gotten rid of.
2. Anorexia Nervosa
An eating and mental disorder, anorexia includes an “severe worry” of gaining weight. Individuals with anorexia will go to potentially fatal extremes in order to reduce weight and keep it off. This includes hunger by a diet of cotton balls.
Though extreme weight loss may be one of the early signs of anorexia, symptoms can include:
- irregular hair growth
- absence of menstruation (amenorrhea)
- abnormal heart rhythms.
Among mental illness, eating disorders have the greatest death rate. The death rate for anorexia is 4 percent. It’s typically caused by heart or other organ failure.
Cotton balls aren’t pure cotton, selected off a naturally grown plant. The fibers are typically processed with bleach and other chemicals. This processing results in the production of dioxins.
According to the World Health Organization, dioxins that come naturally through the food chain can result in recreation and developmental problems. They might also disrupt hormones, damage immune function, as well as cause cancer. Dioxins are particularly hazardous since they’re chemically stable and can remain in the body for 7 to 11 years.
While all of us take in some dioxins by eating animal products, the level of dioxins consumed in the cotton ball diet is likely much higher.
4. Poor nutrition
Malnutrition happens when the body is not able to get the nutrients it requires for survival. Symptoms include:
- pale skin
- achy joints
- thinning hair
- bleeding gums
- level of sensitivity to light.
Long-lasting poor nutrition, like that which might accompany disordered eating, can result in increased risk of infection and even death.
Long-term weight loss and maintenance can be attained through a healthy diet and routine exercise. The cotton ball diet isn’t only a bad weight loss method, but a potentially deadly one.