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Health Officials Say 'Cotton Ball Diet' Dangerous

Last updated on Friday, November 22, 2013

(UNDATED) - The “cotton ball diet” is as disturbing as it sounds. Pete Suratos, KNXV reports, the fad diet involves eating cotton balls soaked in juice, an extremely dangerous way of suppressing hunger.

"A cotton ball has no vitamins, no minerals," said Rachel Brogan, a registered dietitian who works with individuals fighting eating disorders. "When (cotton balls) sit in your stomach and intestines, it may not transition through. You may actually get blocked and have a lot of GI problems."

Brandi Koskie, managing editor of the website Diets in Review, told ABC News that most cotton balls aren't even made of cotton. Instead, they're likely bleached polyester fibers that contain lots of chemicals.

"Your clothing is also made of polyester, so swallowing a synthetic cotton ball is like dipping your T-shirt in orange juice and eating it," she said.

Dr. Ovidio Bermudez, the chief medical officer at the Eating Recovery Center in Denver, told ABC News that downing synthetic cotton balls is similar to eating cloth, or even buttons or coins.

Brogan added that the bigger problem could be all of the fad diets that can be easily accessed through YouTube videos, a lot of them promising unrealistic results.

"People believe more things on media, especially adolescents, more than they should," said Brogan. "So watching something on YouTube becomes real to them."

These extreme diets that are promoted in YouTube videos are often untested and dangerous. And any pounds that you lose, usually come right back.

"Most diets regain the weight back, plus some, because of the time when they were deprived," said Brogan.

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