Woman’s death blamed on soda addiction

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A New Zealand coroner’s report blamed a woman’s death on her drinking more than two gallons of Coca-Cola every day.

Natasha Harris, 31, suffered a fatal heart attack in 2010.

Her partner reportedly said Harris smoked up to 30 cigarettes per day, ate very little and she was addicted to Coca-Cola.  Family members reportedly confirmed she would have physical withdrawal symptoms when the beverage wasn’t available.

A newly-released coroner’s report said Harris’ Coca-Cola addiction killed the stay-at-home mother of eight.

“I find that, when all of the available evidence is considered, were it not for the consumption of very large quantities of Coke by Natasha Harris, it is unlikely that she would have died when she died and how she died,” said coroner David Crerar.

Crerar said Harris drank the equivalent of two pounds of sugar and 970 milligrams of caffeine per day.    Up to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day is considered safe; more than 500 milligrams of caffeine per day is considered unhealthy.

He said the side-effects she suffered from the soda intake included an enlarged liver, fat deposits on her liver, low potassium in her blood and cardiac arrhythmia.

Coca-Cola released this statement about Harris’ death:

Our thoughts and sympathies remain with the family of Natasha Harris.  We have always tried to be as respectful as possible during this difficult time and limit our comments on this tragic situation.

The Coroner acknowledged that he could not be certain what caused Ms Harris’ heart attack.  Therefore we are disappointed that the Coroner has chosen to focus on the combination of Ms. Harris’ excessive consumption of Coca-Cola, together with other health and lifestyle factors, as the probable cause of her death.  This is contrary to the evidence that showed the experts could not agree on the most likely cause.”

(Story from BBC News)