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Swiss Woman Dies From 'Sunlight' Diet

A Swiss woman who attempted to live off of an unusual diet of only air and sunlight, in a quest for spiritual awakening, has died.

The Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported on Wednesday that the woman had starved herself to death by taking part in a spiritual diet in which she was unable to consume any food or drink -- attempting to subside only off of the sun.

The woman, who was said to have been in her 50s, decided to undertake the extreme diet after having watched a controversial Australian documentary on breatharianism. The 2010 documentary, "In the Beginning There Was Light," told the story of an Indian guru who claimed to have lived off sunlight and without food or water for 70 years.

The unidentified woman spent an entire week eating and drinking nothing. According to the report, she stopped the diet for several weeks but eventually resumed the diet and lost her life. She was found dead in Jan. 2011 in her home in the eastern Swiss town of Wolfhalden.

It is unclear why the paper waited over a year to report the news of the unusual death but Swiss prosecutors have not opened an investigation into the death and the cause of death has been ruled as starvation.

Similar cases have been reported in Austria, Germany, and the U.K., according to the Zurich-based Tages-Anzeiger.

People across social media networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have been discussing the death.

"Woman dies of starvation on all-sunlight diet. Should try this only in sunny countries!" Twitter user @shantanub wrote on his Twitter page.

"The Sunshine Diet will be the next big fad, I bet," another user wrote.

"Swiss woman died, after doing the 'sunlight' diet. No food, no water… only sunlight. … I find it hard to feel sorry for her," @jordie_g tweeted.

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