The Cotton Diet: The Dangers of this Internet Fever

 The Cotton Diet: The Dangers of this Internet Fever

Lena Fisher

Over the years, people have tried and continue to try crazy things in the name of weight loss . A cotton diet Thus, those who seek to lower their scales eat cotton balls soaked in juice to reduce their appetite and decrease their daily calorie intake. But, ingesting cotton balls is potentially deadly.

The trend originated in the fashion industry, where women are encouraged to stay dangerously thin for the sake of fashion, and then spread to the internet, where eating cotton balls flavored with juice can help them feel full without consuming any food. However, this is not only a bad, but potentially deadly approach to weight loss.

The cotton diet as an eating disorder

Eating cotton balls - or any non-food item - in an effort to lose weight is not a diet. It is an eating disorder. Therefore, just like eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating, the cotton diet comes with serious health risks.

Eating disorders usually stem from body dissatisfaction. Almost half of the people treated for disorders also live with mood disorders, such as depression. In other words, those who use approaches like the cotton diet may be dealing with some mental health conditions.

Also read: Best herbs for those who want to lose weight

Fatal complications of the cotton diet

Extreme diets always come with risks, and the cotton diet is no exception. Here are some ways in which this methodology can cause harm.

Intestinal obstruction

The body cannot digest cotton balls, so they can mix with mucus and other food particles, creating a mass known as a bezoar. Therefore, when something cannot be digested, it can obstruct the digestive tract. Early signs of an obstruction include:

  • Nausea
  • Colic
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal distension (bloating)
  • Abdominal pain.

An intestinal obstruction prevents the passage of food and fluid. Therefore, if left untreated, it can lead to the death of healthy tissue and infection. An intestinal obstruction is a medical emergency. Therefore, bezoars must be surgically removed.

Anorexia nervosa

An eating and psychological disorder, anorexia nervosa involves an extreme fear of gaining weight. People with anorexia go to potentially deadly extremes to lose weight. According to the American Institute of Health, the death rate from anorexia is 10%. It is usually caused by heart or other organ failure.


Malnutrition occurs when the body is unable to obtain the nutrients necessary for survival, so long-term malnutrition, such as can occur with disordered eating, can lead to increased risk of infection and even death.

Read also: Cinnamon tea: How it helps you lose weight

Lena Fisher

Lena Fisher is a wellness enthusiast, certified nutritionist, and author of the popular health and well-being blog. With over a decade of experience in the field of nutrition and health coaching, Lena has dedicated her career to helping people achieve their optimal health and live their best life possible. Her passion for wellness has led her to explore various approaches to achieving overall health, including diet, exercise, and mindfulness practices. Lena's blog is a culmination of her years of research, experience, and personal journey towards finding balance and well-being. Her mission is to inspire and empower others to make positive changes in their lives and embrace a healthy lifestyle. When she's not writing or coaching clients, you can find Lena practicing yoga, hiking the trails, or experimenting with new healthy recipes in the kitchen.