Dangerous New Diet Gaining Popularity
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A dangerous diet trend has some scratching their heads: eating cotton balls to try and lose weight. It sounds almost too bizarre to be true, but the behavior seems to be catching on.
And with the help of the internet, it's spreading quickly. A google search of the diet turns up thousands of results. That has experts concerned who say, it's a truly destructive behavior.
The new fad claims eating cotton balls will fill you up while cutting calories to help you lose weight.
YouTube videos show people dipping them in juice to make them easier to eat.
Dieticians say cotton balls aren't able to be broken down by the body, and can harm your digestive system causing a partial or full obstruction. These conditions often require surgery and can be life threatening.
Aside from those risks, they don't supply any needed vitamins or nutrients.
"When you're not giving yourself the nutrients that your body needs, through hydration, through carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and all the vitamins and minerals, there's no way you can be healthy, even if that's your initial goal," UF Health Dietician Roxanne Hartman says.
The sudden notoriety of this fad online fuels worries that teenagers - who are the most at risk for developing eating disorders - might be picking up on this and other unsafe habits.
Hartman says if parents are worried about this becoming an issue with your children, monitor them for any changes in eating habits or mood. Talk to them and start a conversation about this diet, and explain why it's so dangerous.
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