In The Devil Wears Prada, Emily Blunt’s character reveals that she partakes in a bizarre diet that involves abstaining from all food, “and right before I feel I’m going to faint, I eat a cube of cheese.” The joke still resonates with audiences because 1) that diet is just a ridiculous means of starvation, and 2) it also reflects the absurd ethos of modern dieting philosophy.
But the cheese cube diet seems healthy when compared to a new, dangerous weight loss trend that has been proliferating in instructional YouTube videos and making waves among women and young girls. The cotton ball diet.
And no, the cotton ball diet’s name is not a euphemism. According to a recent Good Morning America report, people dip cotton balls in orange juice or smoothies to absorb the liquid and then eat up to five in a sitting in order to feel full without actually consuming real food. National Eating Disorder Association president and CEO Lynn Grefe says models have been suspected of doing the diet to stay skinny for years, but now it has gone mainstream with videos of young girls partaking on YouTube.
Unsurprisingly, medical professionals say that eating the synthetic material in place of actual food is not healthy.