Polyester is becoming more popular…as an ingredient in the latest teen dieting trend thought to fight obesity. One of the most recently publicized diet fads is the consumption of cotton balls, which are usually made from polyester, to make a person feel full. This is one of the most recent bad ideas, encouraged by teenagers. The majority of us probably do not need to be persuaded to realize that obesity cannot be resolved by eating cotton balls.
If, however, there are strange skeptics not convinced of the foolishness of this diet, do a Google search for “girls who eat cotton balls.” Sadly the top three related searches are “is it SAFE to eat cotton balls,” “is it BAD to eat cotton balls” and “ELF EATING cotton balls.” Desperation can no doubt lead to some of the strangest behavior. But, whoever thought that parents might need to hide cotton balls from their self-conscious teenage daughters?
This diet typically involves dipping about 5 cotton balls into a beverage like orange juice, to make them more palatable, then swallowing them one at a time to create a sensation of satiation. Diets In Review website editor Brandi Koskie said, “Your clothing is also made of polyester, so swallowing a synthetic cotton ball is like dipping your t-shirt in orange juice and then eating it.” This is not as bad as the tapeworm diet which can lead to meningitis, dementia, and seizures, but it is still risky. Didn’t people think that individuals featured on My Strange Addiction for eating things like couch cushions were deeply troubled? Some of them were overweight anyway. Obesity cannot be resolved by eating cotton balls. Exercise and eating a healthy diet on the other hand have been consistently shown to help. Anyone capable of eating orange flavored cotton balls daily should be able to stick to a diet where they get to eat food.
Unfortunately, instructional videos for the cotton ball diet are making this seem like a realistic weight loss option. Videos are cropping up all over YouTube. Numerous doctors warn that this disturbing trend can cause serious problems like choking, intestinal blockage, malnourishment, and growth and development problems. The latter might be a problem for anyone eating cotton balls to lose weight in the first place.
Doctors might consider going into detail as to how intestinal blockage is resolved in order to deter girls from doing this. Teenage girls are very self-conscious and spelling out for them how embarrassing it might be to need treatment seems like a way to discourage some “dieters.” If only “severe gas” was a side effect, this diet would fade rapidly.
It turns out that the cotton ball diet is not a new idea; it is just becoming more broadly publicized due to videos posted on the internet. Most people would agree that teenagers are prone to engage in a lot of the foolish activities.
For those whom don’t have teenagers, enjoy your good fortune. You may still overhear curses from your exasperated neighbor over things like teenage bottle rocket wars at 1 am. On Parent Society’s list of 11 most dangerous (and stupid) teen behaviors you will find descriptions of teenagers smoking smarties, car surfing, and distilling hand sanitizer. I can promise that teenagers will continue to devise ways to end up hurting themselves, but injury by cotton ball is really creative. Hopefully, a public service announcement stating that obesity cannot be resolved by eating cotton balls in not necessary. Maybe if parents start eating them to lose weight teenagers will stop thinking it is cool.
By: Lara Stielow