The Cotton Ball Diet By Zachary Baker, Sebastian Sutch, and Eric Chow What Is The Cotton Ball Diet? The Cotton Ball Diet is a dangerous fad diet created in 2013 designed to make the dieter lose weight. The diet requires the dieter to ingest up to 5 whole cotton balls soaked in various fruit juices. The purpose of this is to dramatically reduce the number of calories consumed each day. By doing so, the dieter will have a sensation of feeling full, since the cotton balls cannot be digested. The Cotton Ball Diet has repeatedly been called dangerous by health and nutrition experts. Who Uses The Cotton Ball Diet? According to the Women’s Health magazine and Healthline, the Cotton Ball Diet appeals to 3 main groups of people: teenage girls, aspiring models, and young women are using the Cotton Ball Diet, all in search of losing weight, staying skinny, and looking good for the camera. What Nutritional Value Does The Cotton Ball Diet Provide? Contrary to traditional diets, instead of providing you with sufficient nutrients and calories, the Cotton Ball Diet deprives you of nutrients, the vital substance for growth and life. So, what nutritional value does the Cotton Ball Diet provide? Cotton balls are not food, meaning that they provide no nutritional value. Even when dipped in juice, Michelle Davenport, Ph.D., and R.D, a contributor to the Women’s Health magazine says: “There’s going to be about a tablespoon of juice in each cotton ball, meaning each ball will contain about 5 calories. So even if you have 100 balls a day, that’s only 500 calories, which is not only not enough to live on, but it’s totally incomplete. We need to feed our bodies so many other nutrients to survive.” In conclusion, the Cotton Ball Diet provides nearly no nutrients or calories. What Effects Does The Cotton Ball Diet Have On Your Body? Going on the Cotton Ball diet comes with many potential risks and side effects, many of which are fatal. Risks include 1) Malnutrition 2) High Levels Of Toxicity 3) Intestinal Obstruction, and Anorexia Nervosa. We will try to explain and break down each risk, the side effects that come with them, and with scientific reasoning. MalnutritionMalnutrition means that the body is lacking in nutrients, caused by a lack of food to eat. Having a lack of nutrition may cause you to to be more prone to infections and other diseases, sometimes resulting in death. Effects of being malnourished include reduced muscle mass, and reduced tissue mass. This causes a much higher risk of hyperthermia, as the body is unable to stay warm because of the reduced muscle mass and tissue mass. Symptoms of malnutrition may include pale skin, rashes, bruising, achy joints, thinning hair, bleeding gums, sensitivity to light, fatigue, and dry skin. The reason that malnutrition occurs when undergoing the Cotton Ball Diet is that the body only is able to extract those few nutrients from the juice the dieter is consuming. The dieter is ingesting nearly nothing each day! 2. High Levels of ToxicityHaving a high level of toxicity means that within your body, your hormones may be disrupted, your white cells; also known as your body’s defense system may be damaged, or you could have a chance of having cancer or other illnesses. The most common type of toxicity from a fad diet are dioxins. Dioxins are a group of similar environmental chemicals that build up in the food chain. Dioxins are very toxic, and they can remain in your body up to 7-11 years. Dioxins may cause reproduction and developmental problems. Having high levels of toxicity occurs when undergoing the cotton ball diet because most cotton balls are not made purely out of organic cotton, and the cotton balls often include synthetic fibers that are processed with bleach. This process generates harmful dioxins. When ingested, it creates toxicity. 3. Intestinal ObstructionIntestinal obstruction is a stoppage that causes food and liquids to not be able to pass through the small intestine and colon. Some symptoms of intestinal obstruction include severe bloating, constipation, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal swelling. Intestinal obstruction occurs when undergoing the Cotton Ball Diet because the since the cotton balls cannot be digested, the will stay in our stomach and intestines. The cotton balls may mix with other food particles and mucus, and cause blockages known as bezoars. 4. Anorexia Nervosa Anorexia Nervosa is a psychological and sometimes fatal eating disorder. Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by a extremely low BMI (Low body weight compared to body size), and being at a constant point of starving yourself. Some of the symptoms are: fear of the smallest weight gain, constant rapid weight loss, being underweight for your age and height, brittle hair, yellow and unhealthy skin and mood swings. Anorexia Nervosa occurs when undergoing the Cotton Ball Diet because of you will develop an extreme fear of gaining weight. Intro To Effects On Society Culture and MoralityThe Cotton Ball Diet can affect society, culture, and morality all in negative manners. Below we will explain how the Cotton Ball Diet can affect society, culture, and morality. What Effects Does The Cotton Ball Diet Have On Society? The Cotton Ball diet gained massive popularity through social media and social networks such as Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. At first glance, this seems perfectly acceptable. However, this raises a massive red flag about the content filtering on social media. When young girls see videos promoting this kind of damaging diet, they will be more compelled to use the diet themselves, only because they see their peers doing the same thing. Despite social media and social networks being usually very positive things, but in situations like this, social media can impact society in a negative way. We can solve this issue by demanding higher levels and more strict content filtering regarding harmful diets such as the Cotton Ball Diet. What Effects Does The Cotton Ball Diet Have On Culture? Culture is the way people within a group behave. For example, Chinese culture involves using herbal medicine, a tradition that has lasted centuries. In this case, if the cotton ball diet was thought to be helpful and safe, people would start to try it, without a sense of morality, eventually everybody would think that it would be a normal and traditional diet to use. Even though people start to get sick or die, people would not believe the casualties have something to do with the diet and think it is a coincidence because the diet has been used by many. Method For Using The Cotton Ball Diet. Even after reading this piece of writing, and you still want to do the Cotton Ball Diet, this is how you can do it.Pour fruit juice into a cup.Take a cotton ball.Cut in halfDip the cotton ball in the juice.Chew the cotton ball.Swallow the cotton ball. Repeat step 1-5 for as many as 6 times. How Does The Cotton Ball Diet Affect Your Morality? Morals are the things inside of us all that tell us whether we are doing the right thing, or the wrong thing. The Cotton Ball Diet affects our morality in a negative way. This is because when we are so caught up in only losing weight, we lose track of what we known is right; keeping ourselves healthy. The Cotton Ball Diet makes us forget what is healthy for our bodies, and makes us only think about our image to eyes of others. We all know in our hearts what we know is right, and what we know is wrong. We should not let our own image get in the way of our morals. Conclusion: In conclusion, the Cotton Ball Diet is a diet for people with eating disorders. Eating disorders include conditions such as Anorexia Nervosa. People who have eating disorders will go to potentially fatal extremes just to lose and keep weight down. The Cotton Ball Diet just further encourages people with such conditions to put themselves in danger. The Cotton Ball Diet not only hurts our bodies, but hurts society, culture, and our morality. The Cotton Ball Diet is not a healthy diet, and should not be taken by anyone with regards for their own health. Bibliography: Schaefer, Anna. “4 Ways the Cotton Ball Diet Could Kill You.” Edited by Natalie Butler. Healthline, Healthline Media, 7 July 2017, www.healthline.com/ health/eating-disorders/ways-the-cotton-ball-diet-could-kill-you#4. Accessed 4 Jan. 2018. 2. Kim, Dr. Ben. “A No-Nonsense Look at Toxins and How Your Body Deals with Them.” Dr. Ben Kim, drbenkim.com, 13 Sept. 2012, drbenkim.com/toxins-cleansing-detoxing.htm. Accessed 4 Jan. 2018.3.Daly, Annie. “The Diet Trick You Should Never, Ever Try.” Womens Health, 6 Nov. 2013, 4.www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/cotton-ball-diet. Accessed 5 Jan. 2018.5.Nursing Times. “Malnutritions.” Nursing Times, 20 May 2009. 6. Kids Health. “Hunger and Malnutrition.” Kids Health, kidshealth.org/en/parents/ hunger.html. Accessed 7 Jan. 2018.7. Moore, Kristeen, et al. “Intestinal Obstruction.” Healthline, Kristeen Moore, Rachel Nall, and Christine Case-Lo. Accessed 7 Jan. 2018.