Why Are So Many People Eating Dirt To Lose Weight?

Writer: Farah Karim

As one of the countries in Southeast Asia with high rate of obese people, everyone’s looking to losing weight.

#ICYMI, obesity in Malaysia sits at 13.3% while overweight is at 38.5%, so something needs to be done about it. You’ve heard of all the crazy diets and trends — from drinking charcoal-infused juice and eating baby food to wearing blue-tinted glasses to make your food look less appetising, the methods vary. But have you heard of eating dirt?

Source: Pexels Lisence/Pexel

This practice is called geophagy and has been around for centuries. Ancient Greek physicians such as Hippocrates described pregnant women (back in the days) used to consume soil and their children would follow suit. In the South, it’s a common practice.

The documentary Eat White Dirt explores Southerners’ love for chewing on kaolin, a kind of white clay formed from mineral deposits. Although, not everyone shares the same opinion. Many cultures file it under disordered eating of non-food things.

Clay will bind fats and flushes it out of the body

Believe it or not, this unlikely way to fight obesity (although as crazy as it seems), has some scientific backing behind it. University of South Australia scientists accidentally found that one kind of clay binds fat and flushes it out of the body better than a weight-loss drug.

Rather than breaking down to release drugs, the clay materials attracted fat droplets by soaking them up. They also prevented the clay materials from being absorbed by the body and ensured that fat simply passed through the digestive system.

Source: rawpixel.com/Pexel

According to them, the processed clay has an unusually high surface. This means that there are more chances of area to come in contact, interact and soak up digested fats and oils present in the foods we eat.

Don’t worry though, research has shown that there weren’t any significant health risks to eating it although too much might cause constipation. Could this be a safer alternative to the diet pills available in the market?

Hmm, would you eat dirt to lose weight? Let us know!