Vertical News: Don't Eat Cotton Balls

A dangerous diet fad affecting young people.

cotton balls

Sometimes in life a really bad idea comes along… eating cotton balls is certainly one of them.

Why is this news? Because it has become a trend among teens, mainly girls. Dipping cotton balls in juice and eating them to stave off hunger pangs. Striving to replicate the emaciated looks that are often featured in the fashion and celebrity world.

Aside from the obvious, that cotton balls are not food and not part of a healthy diet, there is the added specter that cotton balls aren’t always made of cotton and are potentially full of many toxins due to the way they are processed. Consumption of a non-food like this can lead to something called a “bezoar,” an obstruction of the intestines, which, needless to say, along with the choking risk, can kill you (Liz Neporent, “Dangerous Diet Trend: The Cotton Ball Diet,”, November 21, 2013).

Real, true, delicious food is a wonderful gift from God. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet which leads to good health is what God intends for us.

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly,” (John:10:10, NKJV).

Unhealthy fad diets are a sad choice, and if they tempt you, please seek wise counsel to help you learn the basics of true nutrition. Starvation diets like this can lead to or be a symptom of eating disorders. Please seek help.

Remember, good food is a blessing from God.


AlternatePerspective's picture

Hello I am new here and probably will be banned after this, but that's okay. I figured in the case of many it is a good idea to provide an ability to coexist... yes I am one of the pagans. I do have to say that the problem with fad diets is that they are just that. However, there are also perhaps some issues that need to be addressed that are closer to home than it be. I am the daughter of a retired Presbyterian Minister, and when I went to school my first year at 18 everything was fine physically however, until something genetically happened, I started symptoms of what is known today as PCOS. Bionically (Yes I am versed) Sarah would have been diagnosed with it today if she were alive. My parents wanted me (right or wrong) to fit into a box where the other girls were, skinny. I couldn't be I gave up... It was emotional, and then stress to boot of being raped that summer. First thing I think is to have people stop looking at kids to fit into a box, illnesses and hormonal dysfunctions are out there... and if you want a good remedy talk to a Doctor. (And don't deny prayer from all sides)

Malachi 3_16-18

Malachi 3_16-18's picture

Hi Alternate Perspective,

I feel some of your pain, because disordered eating was present in my family. It's good that you recognize your problem, rather than being in denial about it. I'm not a professional counselor, but have studied a lot about this condition, and agree with you, as Amanda said in the article, that people suffering from eating disorders need to get help. And yes, one of the many factors that can contribute to eating disorders is pressure from others, including the media, to fit into an idyllic mold. Other predispositions include personality type, and even genetic factors such as you touched on. And too, emotional and/or sexual abuse. Do seek professional help if you are still suffering from disordered eating. also has some excellent articles on this and related topics. From our Home page, go to the menu at the top, select "About", and then "Other Websites", then select "Breaking Free Journal" then "Topics", then "Eating Disorders", where you will find several articles on this related problems.

I also recommend the recent Beyond Today program online, "The Value of Women", which I have watched twice and found to be so encouraging!

Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture

You are quite correct, there is a lot of pressure in society to conform to a certain image. This is image is often unrealistic for many people, because of the reasons you mentioned: physical health, hormonal imbalances, and emotional problems.
I think it's important for people to develop a healthy relationship with food (a point this article contends). That would entail not seeing food as an enemy, not seeing it as a consolation, but viewing food as what it was intended, an enjoyable necessity to sustain life. That means eating good, nutritious and biblically clean food for the right reasons: to sate hunger and to supply your body with the proper nutrients. There's no reason that the food you consume can't be delicious, nutritious food is delicious. Having a healthy relationship with food helps people to focus on the benefits of eating a healthy diet even if other circumstances prevent weight loss or maintenance.

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