College Student’s Death Ruled an Accidental Overdose of Diet Pills

By Victoria Kim 07/28/15

Eloise Parry was obsessed with her body image.

Eloise Parry
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Following the death of university student Eloise Parry in April, a coroner has ruled the 21-year-old died of an accidental overdose after taking highly toxic diet pills, The Guardian reports.

Parry, who was studying families and childhood studies at the Glyndŵr University in north Wales, was “obsessed” with her body image, according to her doctor, Carla Ingram.

“Ms. Parry was deeply troubled but was intelligent and she was aware of the risk to her health taking this drug,” Dr. Ingram said in a hearing. “She was by her own admission obsessed by her own desire and need to lose weight and continued to take escalating doses with no apparent ability to stop herself.”

The pills ingested by Parry contained 2,4-dinitrophenol, commonly known as DNP. It is an industrial chemical unfit for human consumption—historically used in explosives, dyes, and fungicides—but is appealing to dieters and bodybuilders because it speeds up metabolism, said Parry’s mother, Fiona Parry.

DNP has been linked to several deaths across the UK. Authorities have issued at least three warnings in the last three years to alert UK consumers to the dangers of using DNP. The coroner, John Ellery, said DNP is a dangerous and toxic substance which should not be accessible to people seeking non-prescribed medication.

Parry, who died on April 12, had taken eight pills that she had purchased online instead of the recommended dosage of just one. Her mother said two would have been enough to kill her, but with eight in her system, it was far too late for doctors to save her. “They didn’t stand a chance of saving her because she’d taken so much,” said her mother, Fiona Parry.

Fiona Parry and Dr. Ingram did not believe Eloise was suicidal or addicted, but that she had “no apparent ability” to stop taking DNP. Eloise had sent this text message to a college lecturer the morning of her death.

“I screwed up big time. Binged/purged all night and took four pills at 4am. I took another four when I woke and I started vomiting soon after. I think I am going to die. No one is known to survive if they vomit after taking DNP. I am so scared. I am so sorry for being so stupid.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr