February 13, 2013

Coke, the soda, killed her

A New Zealand coroner determined that a New Zealand mother of eight died from a heart attack induced largely by her addiction to Coca Cola.

Natasha Harris, 31, died in 2010 and in findings released Feb. 12 to an inquest, the coroner in her home country of New Zealand said she would not have died if she hadn't been dependent on the soda. She drank more than two gallons a day, the Associated Press reported following her death.

“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,” coroner David Crerar said.

According to a Huffington Post report published Feb. 13, Chris Hodgkinson, the woman's partner, said Harris was “addicted to Coke” and had unhealthy habits, such as eating very little and smoking up to 30 cigarettes a day.

Crerar determined that  Harris drank the equivalent of two pounds of sugar and 970 milligrams of caffeine per day, according to Television New Zealand. Her family said Harris suffered from withdrawal symptoms when she didn't have Coca Cola.

Crerar said that Harris had developed cardiac arrhythmia because of her soda habit. In a post-mortem exam, she was found to have an enlarged liver, as well, from excessive sugar consumption.

On Feb. 12, the Huffington Post report said, Coca-Cola released a statement concerning the finding:

“[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.”

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