A bizarre weight loss fad among American teen girls is the “cotton-ball diet,” in which teens soak cotton balls in orange juice or lemonade and then eat the cotton ball, which is supposed to expand in their stomach and make them feel full.
Now, doctors and nutritionists are having to warn teen girls not to eat cotton balls, which can cause a blockage in the intestines (video below).
“You’re really kind of playing Russian roulette when you use these types of diets,” Jennifer Lombardi, of the Eating Recovery Center of California, told KCRA.
“The biggest concern is it can cause a blockage in the digestive system, and if that happens to a certain extent, they are going to end up in surgery. Just like with any extreme diet, it is very dangerous because you’re depleting your body of needed nutrients,” added Lombardi.
Kourtney Gordon, of the Fairwinds Eating Disorder Program, told 10 News, "The problem being that taking the non-nutritive foods is you’re not getting the vitamins, the minerals, the calories, the proteins, the fats that our bodies need to survive off of. So you can have a lot of growth and development issues, you can have complications of being malnourished.”
While American teens choose to starve themselves on cotton balls, the numbers for world hunger outside the U.S. are staggering.
According to the United Nation's World Hunger Program, 842 million people do not have enough to eat, poor nutrition causes the deaths of 3.1 million children and 66 million children attend school hungry; with 23 million just in Africa alone.