Coroner accuses 'body-obsessed' magazines after girl dies

A coroner has accused teenage magazines of contributing to a 17-year-old girl's eating disorder which led to her death.

A coroner has accused teenage magazines of contributing to a 17-year-old girl's eating disorder which led to her death.

Melissa Booth, of Walton, Liverpool, was probably "pushed" into her condition by the magazines as well as by the availability of laxatives, the city's coroner said.

An inquest into the youngster's death found she died from a heart attack, brought on by complications associated with bulimia nervosa.

Miss Booth's father Gary, 41, has echoed coroner Andre Rebello's concerns, adding that wants to see tighter controls on the selling of laxatives and diuretics in the form of water retention tablets.

Mr Booth, who is a Labour Party organiser, says he is considering taking the issue up with his local MP, Peter Kilfoyle.

After recording a death of natural causes contributed to by self neglect on Miss Booth, Mr Rebello said: "The availability of diuretics and laxatives and teenage magazines pushed her further into having an eating disorder, even caused it.

"Melissa's father told me she read magazines aimed at teenage girls quite a lot. It would be unfair to name names, but it is true to say they all have a preoccupation with body image."

The coroner said he told Mr Booth it was "quite right and proper that you should campaign and make other people aware that their daughter could be next".

"Clearly I agree with you that there should be social responsibility by those who prescribe these concoctions," Mr Rebello told the girl's father.

Miss Booth had suffered from bulimia nervosa for a number of months. She died on January 14 this year when she suffered a heart attack in her sleep, Liverpool Coroner's Court was told.

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