Teenage rugby player dies after taking toxic diet pill DNP
Parents of Chris Mapletoft hope his death hope his death will act as warning to others
Chris Mapletoft, 18 from Twickenham in London who has died after taking 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) a chemical used in pesticides but sold online as a quick-fix diet aid
The parents of a fit, healthy teenager who died after taking a toxic quick-fix diet pill have said they are “incredulous” that it is so easily available online without any legal comeback.
Chris Mapletoft (18) died after taking 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), a chemical used in pesticides but sold online as a quick-fix diet aid. His mother, Lesley Mapletoft, said: “How many deaths does it need for somebody to say this is not acceptable?”
Holding hands with her husband, David, at the family home in Twickenham, southwest London, she said: “We had no idea he was taking it. We are absolutely shocked to the core that he would take the risk because he was bright. He was not reckless.
“I really find it unbelievable that with a few clicks of a button that this stuff is so widely available on the internet.
“We are both incredulous that something that is not suitable for human consumption can be sold in tablet form with no obvious legal redress.”
Chris was in the upper-sixth form at Hampton School and was a star player of the school’s rugby team. His A-level results, which came after he died in June, would have helped him towards a business course at Bath University. He hoped to become a property developer.
Chris’s parents hope his death may act as a warning to others. They believe Chris may have decided to “take a chance” on the drug because he wanted to have a six-pack for his post-exams celebration holiday with friends.
Chris exercised regularly and worked hard to keep fit. “We just think this was [for him] just another pound or two coming away from the midriff and then he would look fantastic on the beach,” said Mr Mapletoft. “It is all speculation. We don’t 100 per cent know that because we have no idea what he was thinking.”
The fact that Chris “was not a stupid boy and was not a risk-taker” but a caring and modest young man with everything to live for makes this a “tragic mistake”, Ms Mapletoft added. “The over-riding sentiment from everybody is that they cannot believe he would have done this.”
Her husband, who was with Chris when he died at home, said his son had complained of feeling ill, vomiting and feeling hot, and started making “horrible gasping sounds as he was struggling for breath”. Chris had died by the time the ambulance arrived. It was initially believed he had contracted meningitis and his death was treated as unexplained.
An initial postmortem was inconclusive but an inquest into his death last week established the cause as 2, 4-dinitrophenol toxicity.
The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.
The death is the latest in a series of tragedies blamed on the poison, which interferes with the way the body gets energy from fat and can lead to death from overheating. – (PA)