Research which sought to prove that drinking water before a meal helped with weight loss has been discredited.
Researchers at Thames Valley East University published their results last week. They initially proved that people who drank a half pint of water before a meal lost weight over a two month period.
"It has often been suggested that drinking water helps people to lose weight," said Dr Alice Envelope, of the university's Medical Sciences Department. "Using 50 subjects on two strict regimes, we aimed to determine whether this had some factual basis or if it was an old wives' tale.
"Certainly the 25 subjects who had the water before meals lost weight.
"However, we discovered yesterday that the research students conducting the experiment practicals had forgotten to feed their subjects.
"We can only apologise for the embarrassment this has caused the University - and to the subjects, who are being cared for and fed at the university's expense until they are fit to leave hospital."