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Coca-Cola addiction death: Mother of eight dies from unhealthy soda habit

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A Coca-cola addiction contributed to the death of a 30-year-old woman from New Zealand.

Or is it just a unhealthy life style?
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File. UPI/Gary C. Caskey
File. UPI/Gary C. Caskey 
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Updated Feb. 12, 2013 at 4:15 PM
Published: Feb. 12, 2013 at 3:01 PM
Natasha Harris via Telegraph 

A New Zealand mother of eight, who drank excessive amounts of Coca-cola everyday for years, died of a heart attack three years ago, likely brought on by her unusual consumption of the soft drink, a coroner has found.

In a decision that was released Tuesday, three years after Natasha Harris passed away, coroner David Crear found that she died of cardiac arrhythmia caused by the effects of caffeine and a poor nutrition, the Telegraph reported.

In life, Natasha Harris, 30, drank up to 10 liters of Coke a day. The recommended daily caffeine intake for the average person is 400 mg.

"The first thing she would do in the morning was have a drink of Coke, and the last thing she would do in the day was have a drink of Coke by her bed," said her de facto partner Christopher Hodgkinson.

Harris died on Feb. 25, 2010 from a cardiac arrest. It was Hodgkinson who found her seating on the toilet, bent towards the wall and asking for help.

According to coroner Crear, "the drinking of very large quantities of Coke was a substantial factor that contributed to the development of the metabolic imbalances which gave rise to the arrhythmia."

Besides her unhealthy Coke addiction, Harris reportedly smoked 30 cigarettes per day and ate very little.

Still, Crear concluded 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."

The coroner advised the New Zealand Ministry of Health to review whether labels on soft drinks gave enough protection to consumers and urged Coca-Cola to consider including the quantity of caffeine content on its labels, along with a warning on excessive consumption.

In a statement, Coca-Cola Oceania Ltd. said the company did not agree with the verdict pointing to the soft drink as the main cause of the heart condition that led to Harris' death.

"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."
by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 10:14 AM
Replies (41-42):
ReginaStar
by Gold Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 5:38 PM

That's scary for me b/c I have a soda addiction. I drank coke everyday from age 7 to age 30. It was pretty much the only thing I drank. I was consuming about 10 cans a day. For the last 4 of my pregnancies I had a serious problem with my potassium to the point I had to be hospitalized numerous times. No one not a single doctor in which I had 4 different ones during these pregnancies did not know what was wrong with me. In my last pregnancy I finally discovered what was causing it. Coke. I found some articles online about the issue and immediately stop drinking it. My potassium levels stopped dropping. 

I never resumed drinking coke but I did start drinking Sprite and since the summer I have been drinking Sprite Zero. 

philwil
by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Who in their right minds would drink that much coke? If anyone knows anything it's that what we drink now is actually the watered down version of cola. It actually used to contain remnant of cocaine in it....so WHY would anyone drink 10 liters? I know we all have our own guilty pleasures, but goodness gracious that is ridiculous. Any dark beverage is not good in large amounts. I know the drink affected her kidneys, because of the large consumption, and large amounts of caffeine also causes lumps in your breast. I know because I was addicted to caffeine...coffee, lattes, sweet tea, and cokes helped me get through the day. Did I drink 10 liters..of course NOT, but I would drink about 3 drinks of caffeine each day. Yes some may call that crazy, but it helped and harmed me at the time. 

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