Local Pediatrician Warns Against ‘Cotton Ball Diet’

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A local doctor says he’s worried about a bizarre new weight loss trend known as the “cotton ball diet.”

“Kids are being told that one of the ways you can stay thin is by taking cotton balls and soaking them in something like orange juice and then swallowing a few of them. It will make you feel full and that will help you lose weight,” explains SLU Care pediatrician Dr. Ken Haller at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.

“Cotton balls are generally not made of cotton. They’re made of indigestible material like polyesters, nylons, things like that and so what can happen is these things can get stuck in your digestive track and cause a blockage,” he says.

Haller says the cotton balls can also cause severe vomiting, which could lead to a rupture of the gastrointestinal tract. He considers the fad to be a dangerous eating disorder rather than a diet.

“If someone’s body image is so distorted that they want to do something like this, it really is something that is very concerning to physicians and to parents,” Haller said.

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