I recently heard an interview with Eddie Murphy’s 23-year-old daughter, Bria Murphy, who is now a professional model.  During the interview she talked about the trials and tribulations of modeling as a career, and to my surprise, she mentioned that there are some models – not her of course – who are dipping cotton balls in orange juice and swallowing them in an attempt to suppress their appetites and lose weight.

This kind of diet is so dangerous, I don’t even know where to begin. First, let’s start with the possible gagging effect a person could trigger while trying to eat a cotton ball. This could cause a person to potentially aspirate liquid into their lungs as they try to cough these fibers out of their respiratory system, and consequently, it could lead to all sorts of problems including aspiration pneumonia and bronchitis.

If a person successfully swallows the cotton balls, they may then face dangers including bowel obstruction, twisting of the intestines and bowel necrosis. All of these conditions can lead to acute abdominal pain, necessitating interventional surgery, which could have severe side effects and complications.

The sad point about all of this is that models in our society are supposed to represent an image of beauty and a wholesome life. Young women who pick up magazines all want to be like these models, but in reality, they should steer clear of their eating habits.

Don’t ever consider eating cotton balls dipped in orange juice or any other liquid. In order to look truly wholesome on the outside, you need to be wholesome on the inside as well. 

The Cotton Ball Diet is exactly that: eating cotton balls to feel full with a goal of losing weight.

Health experts say the fad could have deadly consequences.

Many models have confessed to dipping cotton balls in orange juice and then eating them to feel full. This fad of dieting can lead to a much more severe case of eating disorders.

"You're not getting the vitamins, the minerals, the calories, the proteins, the fats that our body actually needs to survive off of," Kourtney Gorgon with Fairwinds Eating Disorder Program said. "So, you can have a lot of growth and development issues. You can have just complications of being malnourished."

Swallowing cotton balls can also lead to digestive complications.

"It can actually stay in the stomach, or in the intestines and cause blockage, and it could actually damage - permanently - the intestines," Dr. Lauri Wright with USF Health said.

Dr. Wright said pressures to look certain ways that are not attainable push teens into eating disorders.

"Unfortunately, when you have these extreme diets, what you lose first is fluid so you lose water weight and you also lose muscle," Dr. Wright said. "The fat is the last component that you pull from and that's really, ultimately, what people want to get rid of."

If parents or friends see someone trying to skip meals or saying they are not hungry, it's cause for concern. The Cotton Ball Diet is a trend both experts say they hope fades quickly.

An Expert's Take on Models Eating Cotton Balls to Stay Skinny It's no surprise when a new diet plan takes over the modeling world, considering we've heard of everything from the Master Cleanse to the Tapeworm diet, but the latest diet fad (or breaking news, rather) among models is just downright disturbing. When we read that Bria Murphy, Eddie Murphy's daughter and aspiring model, revealed that some models have turned to eating cotton balls dipped in orange juice to feel full on virtually zero calories, we were beyond shocked. There's incredible pressure on models to be thin, especially during busy times like fashion week, but eating non-food items found in your medicine cabinet and dipping them in juice takes things to an entirely new low. After picking our jaws up from the floor, we turned to Marissa Lippert, dietician and nutritionist at Nourish NYC, to get her take on the latest weight loss trend. Read on to learn about the scary ramifications of this diet. 

Beauty High: Is there any truth to there being any nutritional value by dipping the cotton balls in orange juice before eating them?
Marissa Lippert: There's absolutely no nutritional value, there's no fiber, and they're not taking in any nutrients against calories. They're really just eating these cotton balls to make themselves feel full for a short period of time, and there's such a small amount of orange juice soaked into the cotton ball that the juice is really more of a way of making the cotton ball more palatable. 

So how are models sustaining an energy level if they're simply eating cotton balls dipped in orange juice?
My best guess is that they're sustaining on caffeine and/or other supplements, but I can't imagine they can sustain very long. Your blood pressure is so low and out of whack when you're not eating, so they probably eat a few cotton balls and the orange juice spikes their energy, and then they'll crash. They can't be eating more than 500-800 calories a day on a diet like this.

What are some of the possible side effects from a cotton ball diet?
Well, there's got to be malnutrition going on, and it's likely that if they keep a diet like this up, their bodies will go into starvation mode, meaning their metabolism will slow down and their body will process any fat and protein available, which leads to becoming dangerously skinny. Plus, because cotton is not meant to be digested, it could be harmful to their esophagus and intestinal tract. There's likely to be constipation, which they might be combating with laxatives. I would absolutely not recommend this to anyone.

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