Girls as young as 12 are risking their health by taking unlicensed "vitamin" to get Kim Kardashian's hourglass curves

IT'S the look many girls yearn for, but some are going to "crazy" lengths to get it.

In recent years, the likes of Kim Kardashian, her sister Kylie Jenner and rapper Cardi B, have helped shape a new body ideal – the "slim thick."

It is their extreme hourglass figures, with a tiny waist buffered by big boobs, chunky thighs and a sizeable butt, that many influencers and young women lust after.

Difficult to achieve without intense weight training or cosmetic surgery, women are instead turning to an appetite stimulant called Apetamin, which they believe will be an easy route to getting the voluptuous frames they desire.

Apetamin comes in a syrup and is not licensed for sale in the UK but easily available online and, as a BBC Three investigation discovered, in British shops.

And it can have serious consequences.

"I collapsed in the street"

One woman who had taken Apetemin said: “I collapsed in the street and they brought me to hospital. I went to college and the same thing happened again, back in hospital.

"I was in denial. I took it again and I collapsed down the stairs at home. Apetamin is the devil.”

The woman, who features in the BBC Three documentary, Dangerous Curves: Get Thicc, Get Sick? , released on iPlayer on Wednesday, April 21, went from 8st 7lbs to 13st 7lbs in just three months of taking the supplement.

She had an "inkling" Apetamin was illegal in the UK when she asked for it at a chemist's.

She said: "They looked at me as if I was mad. So I went to an African store where it was for sale."

Influencers, including the documentary's presenter, model Altou Mvuama, have hailed its qualities on social media, promoting the product to followers as a fast way to get big boobs and a big bum.

Altou, 19, said that while she is usually naturally slim, she would order McDonald's deliveries "every day" while taking the appetite stimulant.

"You can see the jiggling!"

In her video, which she now deeply regrets, Altou wears a bodysuit and gives the camera a close-up of her tummy, saying: "You can see the jiggling."

She even says: "It does say you have to speak to your medical adviser but I didn’t do that."

Altou has investigated the issue because she was toying with the idea of using Apetamin again, despite saying she was "falling asleep at my school desk" when she last used it.

Her late mother, who suffered from the blood condition sickle cell anaemia, fell into a coma while she was taking the syrup years ago.

Since Altou's mother passed away last year, Altou is now the breadwinner of the family, responsible for paying the household bills and taking care of her younger sister.

She said:  “It’s a really competitive world out there and sometimes people do crazy things to stand out from the crowd.

“The girls who make serious cash have curves."

As part of the programme, Altou visits personal trainers Ed and Chi at Zygostatics, who tell her the only way to achieve the Kylie Jenner look is through hard work at the gym.

Shockingly, Ed, who is also a pharmacist, told he had met girls as young as 12 who had tried Apetamin.

One woman Altou meets, who gained 2st in a month-and-a-half while taking the stimulant, said: "I kept falling over and tripping up. I was sleeping all the time.

"I couldn't even write my name on a piece of paper, my hands were shaking that much."

And a third woman – none of whom are named on the programme -said: "It even hurt my eyes to be awake. My feet started to swell, I had to change into my slippers on a night out."

Altou discovered worse had occurred in America.

An influencer known as AshaGrand uploaded CCTV footage to YouTube of a car driving into a stationary vehicle at speed. She titled the video: "I almost lost my life taking Apetamin."

Dr Victoria Garland, who wrote a paper on buying body enhancement medication online, reported seeing a 40-year-old previously healthy woman who had fatigue, abdominal discomfort and jaundice six weeks after starting Apetamin.

The woman took Apetamin for "figure augmentation" after seeing it on social media.

Marketed as a vitamin

Dr Gardland said: "It's hard to know what would have happened. She could have had full liver failure if she continued.

"What worries me is the way it's marketed as a vitamin supplement which implies it's safe and natural. There are no studies about Apetamin and how it can affect a person."

Apetamin is manufactured by the Indian pharmaceutical company, TIL Healthcare. It has not been approved for safe consumption by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

It contains cyproheptadine hydrochloride, a sedative antihistamine used for allergies which is available in the UK by prescription only.

On the packet, there is a doseage guide for adults and children as young as two.

The skinny on Apetamin

The Sun’s doctor, Carol Cooper, warns women not to fall for quick fixes that may have harmful side effects.

She said: "Overeating results in fat around the belly rather than anywhere else.

"The Kim Kardashian bottom is down to genetics, and piling on the pounds won’t give you that look.

"What’s more, Apetamin syrup is potentially dangerous. The main ingredient is a prescription-only antihistamine drug. Cyproheptadine often causes drowsiness and can also trigger aggression, an irregular heart, confusion and even hallucinations.

"All these side effects can be lethal, especially behind the wheel.
The other ingredients are lysine which is a building block for protein, and a mix of vitamins. These are generally harmless in small doses.

"However, taking too much is another story. Nicotinamide for instance usually has few side effects but an excess can cause liver problems.
People who take drugs in the hope of looking like someone else are wasting their money and may be risking their health."

It is mainly sold in Africa and Central and South America, but Altou easily found it on sellers sites like Depop and even Amazon. Depop told the BBC that unlicensed products like Apetamin will be removed, while Amazon had "taken action against the sellers in question."

A quick search by The Sun found it promoted and available on social media sites.

YouTube told the BBC any content violating its guidelines will be removed and Instagram said it had removed accounts that had been "brought to our attention."

Altou also found the stimulant on sale in shops in London, including at a butcher's.

At one place, a bottle costs just £5.99.

She is shown on covert footage asking two cashiers if the product causes weight gain and both say "Yes." The shops declined to comment when the BBC approached them for a response.

The MHRA told the BBC that taking the "unauthorised medicine" can have "serious health consequences." It is now investigating the sale of Apetamin.

Drugs traffickers would only get a "slap on the wrist"

One way it makes it onto British soil is by drug traffickers, who transport such "lifestyle drugs" knowing they are unlikely to be jailed.

Dr Alexandra Hall, acrimiologist at Northumbria University, said: “With illicit lifestyle drugs, there is so much of a grey area it can be really difficult to police.

"Some people who have been involved in cocaine trafficking have moved into fake medicine trade. If you’re caught with a lifestyle drug, you’re probably going to get a slap on the wrist. “

As for Altou, making the film made her decide against Apetamin again.

She said: "It’s really sad to think there are girls endangering their lives to look a certain way.

"You won't achieve that perfect look, it's unrealistic unless you get surgery. You're endangering yourself."

Dangerous Curves: Get Thicc, Get Sick? airs on BBC Three on 21st April.

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