Dieter died after drinking too much water

Alistair Keely,Pa
Thursday 11 December 2008 13:07 GMT

A company behind a meal replacement diet today defended their programme after it emerged that a woman died after drinking four litres of water in under two hours.

LighterLife said the death of Jacqueline Henson, 40, was a tragic accident and stressed she had been given proper advice on how much water to consume.

Mrs Henson, who weighed about 14st at the start of the diet, collapsed in the bathroom of her home in Almondbury, Huddersfield, last year after consuming the water.

Death was caused by cerebral oedema - swelling of the brain.

Huddersfield Coroner's Court was told the mother-of-five died three weeks into the diet.

West Yorkshire Coroner Roger Whittaker recorded a verdict of accidental death at yesterday's inquest and said he was satisfied that the company had given clear guidance on how much water to consume.

He said no-one should drink water in the quantities involved over such a short period.

A spokesman for LighterLife said: "We were so sorry to hear about Jacqueline and extend our sympathies to her family.

"Our programme gives clear guidance that water should be consumed regularly over the course of the day, and the coroner confirmed that the events were a tragic accident."

The diet is aimed at people who are three or more stones overweight and involves dieters consuming just 500 calories a day for 12 weeks by replacing meals with shakes, soups and bars, as well as drinking water.

The recommended daily calorie intake for women is about 2,000 calories.

The inquest heard Mrs Henson was pleased after she lost weight during the first three weeks of the diet, which involved a snack bar for breakfast followed by liquid lunch and dinner.

Mr Whittaker heard how on November 14 last year Mrs Henson had two big bottles of water and began drinking it out of a pint glass while watching television.

She complained that her stomach was solid and was later sick. She said she had a headache and went upstairs to the toilet where she collapsed.

Paramedics attempted to revive her but she died the following day, the inquest heard.

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