Diet Coke addict drinks up to 50 cans a day

When Jakki Ballan started putting on weight as a teenager, her well-meaning GP suggested that she swap her favourite full-fat Coke for the lower-calorie diet version.

She duly slimmed down, but soon developed an astonishing obsession with the fizzy drink which has seen her spend as much as £150,000 over the last three decades.

At one stage the single mother of five would finish up to 50 cans a day – more than three per waking hour.

She was consuming more than 28 pints of Diet Coke every day, the equivalent of double her own body weight a week.

Miss Ballan, who quit her job at a dry cleaners 16 years ago to go on maternity leave, found her habit was also financially draining – costing her around £500 a month at her worst.