Doctors warn of dangerous `cotton ball diet` among teen girls - FOX 32 News Chicago

Doctors warn of dangerous `cotton ball diet` trend among teen girls

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A dangerous new diet fad called the ‘cotton ball diet' is spreading among pre-teen girls. It's exactly what it sounds like -- girls eating cotton balls to lose weight.

It's a trend that picked up in the fashion world with models who will try some drastic means to stay thin.

"This seems to be really the ultimate where we're now using nonfood objects to try and fill our stomachs, so that we don't eat calories," Northwestern's Clinical Nutrition Manager Edye Wagner says.

There is growing concern that younger girls and boys are trying this dangerous ‘cotton ball diet.' Ingesting a cotton ball can cause some very serious health issues.

"One is choking; just getting it down is an issue in itself," Wagner explains. "The other one is, it's not digestible, so it can cause bowel obstructions. If that happens, these young people can wind up in surgery."

This so-called diet has found its way to the internet and YouTube with some saying eating a cotton ball isn't so bad. Doctors say that's not true.

"It's not a dietary's certainly not a natural product and it's got chemicals in it, bleach to make it white. This is not stuff we should be eating," Wagner says.

Nutritionists say if you're looking to reduce your appetite, there are much more healthy means to do so. One is drinking a glass of water before eating a meal, the other is limiting your time eating at the table.

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