Hannah’s Health: Danger of slim pills

Sarah Houston, 23, who was was found dead in her bedroom after taking dinitrophenol, known as DNP.
Sarah Houston, 23, who was was found dead in her bedroom after taking dinitrophenol, known as DNP.
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Welcome to the first Hannah’s health column. I’m Hannah Bailey from Wise Choice Nutrition.

I’m a qualified nutritionist and studied Public Health Nutrition at Sheffield Hallam University. I’ll be writing a regular column on family health and nutrition.

This week has seen the call for a ban on certain slimming pills after a Leeds University medical student, Sarah Houston, pictured right, died last year from taking a drug she had purchased online.

This case is certain to alarm parents who see youngsters worrying about their weight.

The drugs Sarah took contained DNP which is a fertiliser, banned for human consumption but legally available online. There is now a call for a ban on DNP slimming drugs.

As summer approaches and thoughts turn to beachwear, slimming pill sales rise again. But do they work?

Most act more as a placebo than a drug. Eat normally while taking them and the chances are you won’t lose weight but eat a healthier diet and you will. The diet makes the difference.

Slimming pills can also have nasty side-effects. They can cause you to lose control of your bowels but they can also be very addictive. Although obesity is increasing,anorexia and bulimia are also on the rise.

Slimming pills can often be the trigger to these eating disorders. There is also a danger when buying pills online that you don’t know what’s in them. They could be contaminated with other products which have negative health consequences.

You can lose weight without taking pills. A healthy diet and more exercise is almost always the key to weight loss.

To contact Hannah, visit www.wisechoicenutrition.co.uk, email info@wisechoicenutrition.co.uk or call 07912 556470.