Cotton ball diet

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Cotton balls

The cotton ball diet is a fad diet that involves consuming cotton balls dipped in liquids such as juices or smoothies.[1][2] The cotton is intended to make a person's stomach feel full without them gaining weight.[2] The diet has been repeatedly condemned as dangerous.[2] It is thought to originate from the modeling industry in which women are encouraged to be unhealthily thin. [3]

Health risks[edit]

Cotton can cause blockages in the digestive system.[4] Blockage in the intestines could result in dehydration, bowel obstruction which may cause the death of the gastrointestinal tract and damage to internal organs.[5] The diet will also result in a nutrition disorder.[5]

The diet can also cause choking because the cotton balls cannot be broken down and must be eaten whole.[5] Most cotton balls are made from bleached polyester rather than cotton,[2] and toxins in the synthetic ingredients of cotton balls can build up over time and cause organ damage.[5]

The diet is considered to be an indicator of an eating disorder; eating disorders also come with mood disorders such as depression.[6][5]


  1. ^ Bijlefeld, Marjolijn; Sharon K. Zoumbaris (25 November 2014). Encyclopedia of Diet Fads: Understanding Science and Society, 2nd Edition: Understanding Science and Society. ABC-CLIO. pp. 195–. ISBN 978-1-61069-760-6.
  2. ^ a b c d Neporent, Liz (21 November 2013). "Dangerous Diet Trend: The Cotton Ball Diet". ABC News. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  3. ^ "The Cotton Ball Diet: 4 Ways It Could Kill You". Healthline. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  4. ^ "'Cotton-Ball Diet' Rotten, Say Nutritionists". CBS. 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e Savastio, Rebecca (22 November 2013). "Cotton Ball Diet Goes Viral and May Kill Dieters". Guardian Express. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  6. ^ "The Cotton Ball Diet: 4 Ways It Could Kill You". 25 February 2015.