ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – Doctors and nutritionists are warning against what may be a new weight loss fad…the “cotton-ball diet.”
Several Youtube videos have been popping up claiming it’s a good way to lose weight, reports MedicalDaily.com.
In the videos, young girls girls soak cotton balls into orange juice or lemonade in order to add taste.
The idea is to eat the cotton balls to limit the amount of food a person eats during the day.
Extreme dieters say the cotton expands in the stomach and tricks the body into thinking its full.
But health care professionals fear the diet craze could be dangerous.
“You’re really kind of playing russian roulette when you use these types of diets,” treatment professional at the Eating Recovery Center of California, Jennifer Lombardi, 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.”
“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,” manager of Fairwinds Eating Disorder Program, Kourtney Gordon, told WTSP. “So you can have a lot of growth and development issues, you can have complications of being malnourished.”
According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 40 to 60 percent of young girls start to feel anxiety about their body size or shape by the age of 6.
About 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating.