herald

Sunday 25 September 2016

Tragic Eloise diet pill case shows us how dying to be thin can kill you

Eloise Parry
Eloise Parry

She literally "burned" up from within, and her metabolism "exploded like TNT" as doctors tried to save her.

Those are the words of Fiona Parry, mother of Eloise Parry who, aged just 21, died this month in the UK after taking tablets that police believe included a quantity of the pesticide dinitrophenol, also known as DNP - diet pills that Eloise believed would make her thinner.

Pictures and selfies of Louise show a beautiful and clearly slim young girl. Of course, we all know that very often slim women see someone completely different when they look in the mirror. Slim women can go to extremes to look even thinner or to maintain a physique that they're happy with.

perfect

There's no doubt that young girls and women here must be going to similar extremes to get the 'perfect' body.

Most women believe that they are one dress size, or possibly two, away from happiness. From the confidence to get that man, that job, to be successful in life. Ten pounds ago they were contenders.

It is also undeniably true that most of us have sacrificed a healthy body on the altar of a crash diet; a dress for an event in our crosshairs.

A Millward Brown Survey carried out for the Herald last year revealed that 20pc of women across all ages surveyed said that they have taken tablets to lose weight.

Women in the 35 to 44 year old age group were the least likely to have done this but 21pc of women aged between 18 and 24 have popped tablets. This figure rose to 23pc for those aged between 25 and 34.

The survey also found that one in seven Irish women believe they would get a better job if only they had the perfect body shape and 87pc of them believe they would be more confident if they were either slimmer, curvier or taller.

Is it any wonder young women are going to extremes? They see literally hundreds of airbrushed glossy images of women every day and A listers advocating crackpot diet after crackpot diet.

No carbs, no sugar, no food. From where I'm standing this looks more like a nil-by-mouth phobia of food, rather than a healthy diet.

You can't blame the celebs really. They're being lauded for their slender frame at a premiere one day or being snapped with a teeny pouch of fat on their tummies and put in the 'she's let herself go' category, the next. That's the hypocrisy of magazines and their readers. Of us.

Google 'diet pills Ireland' and there's literally hundreds of websites claiming to help you lose weight. Some of them are probably legitimate. Possibly some of them are the types that are prescribed by doctors for very obese people. 'Prescribed' being the key word here - not taken as part of a self diagnosis.

It's too late for Eloise Parry. But maybe her case will be a wake up call for women and young girls - dying to be thin can kill you.

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