By Sarah Ayala
Dipping cotton balls in juice may not seem appetizing, but it has become the new diet trend for teens all over America. Although a trending fad, this hazardous trend can lead to malnutrition and even death.
This all started with models trying to stay skinny and it spread to kids from ages 9-16 years old. Weight has been a heavy topic for years now and is still causing havoc. About twenty million women and ten million men in the United States suffer from eating disorders. Depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders can have a huge impact on eating disorders. Self-confidence levels can also lead to wanting to take part in this trend.
“You’re really kind of playing Russian roulette when you use these types of diets,” exclaimed Jennifer Lombardi, of the Eating Recovery Center of California.
How it starts, is they dip up to five cotton balls in orange juice, lemonade, or a smoothie and eat them one at a time. Once it reaches the stomach, it expands and makes them feel full and consume less food. Consuming less food means you aren’t getting the nutrients you need to grow. This is especially hazardous to young teens because they aren’t fully developed and it could lead to growth development issues.
“I believe this is both a diet and eating disorder. An inexpensive diet for teenagers and a form of pica, which is eating nonfood items,” says Mrs. Youngblood, teacher at Viera High School.
Vanessa Valdes who is a junior at Viera High School believes that this diet trend is not only an eating disorder, but is also a mental disorder. There are many hazards of this diet. Not only is this a choking hazard, but according to ABC News, it can lead to bezoars. Bezoars are the obstruction of the intestinal tract. Also, most cotton balls aren’t actually cotton. Cotton balls are made up of polyester fibers and hazardous chemicals. This can lead to malnutrition and growth development issues.
Although it may seem like a quick way to lose weight, the bad most definitely outweighs the good. This tactic of weight loss is not the way to go, and should be avoided at all costs.