Washington, D.C. | The National Eating Disorder Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have organized a joint press conference this morning, to denounce a popular and extremely dangerous new diet based on eating tampons.
Inspired of the cotton ball diet, which has existed for a long time in the modeling industry and became quite trendy a few years ago, this new diet involves gobbling a certain number of tampons dipped in orange juice, lemonade or water. The idea is to feel full without gaining weight.
Some dieters chow down on these fluffy fillers before a meal to limit their food intake, while others subsist on tampons exclusively.
Death by dehydration
According to vice-president of the National Eating Disorder Association, Dr. Hubert Thomas Jr., this new trend of eating feminine hygiene product is extremely dangerous, and is suspected of being responsible for at least 27 deaths in the United States over the last two months.
“Models have been eating cotton balls for years, but this new diet takes it up a step by using tampons instead of cotton balls,” Dr. Thomas told reporters. “The problem is that most tampons aren’t entirely made of cotton. They’re often made of a patented ingredient called Infinicel, a highly absorbent material able to hold up to 10 times its weight. In fact, it’s so absorbent that most victims of the diet died of dehydration.”
Dr. Thomas believes that nothing good can come out of this type of diet, even if applied with moderation.
“There are also some other risks to consider besides dehydration, as tampons also contain dioxins, synthetic fibers, odour neutralizers and petrochemical additives.” he said. “In fact, conventional tampons can contain the equivalent of about four plastic bags in terms of plastic!”
He called the tampon diet the “most dangerous food fad” he has seen in his career and urged anyone who had eaten tampons over the last few months to see a doctor as soon as possible, even if they don’t suffer from any symptoms.
A deadly diet with mysterious origins
The exact origin of the tampon diet remains unclear, but it began appearing in December 2015, on many websites promoting anorexia or giving questionnable weight loss tips.
It seems to have rapidly become quite trendy in some circles, as the number of deaths and hospitalizations related to the diet have been steadily growing since the beginning of the year.
According to the statistics collected over the last two months, more than 90% of the victims of the tampon diet are women, mostly between 15 an 30 years old.
These statistics are coherent with those concerning other eating disorders, but the death rate is a lot higher than what is observed in most other diets and eating disorders.
The National Eating Disorder Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will now launch a joint nationwide campaign of prevention to try to suppress this growing problem.
The Department announced a budget of $5 million dollars for this campaign, to pay for advertising, as well as medical and psychological help to the victims.