Drinking large quantities of Coca-Cola was a “substantial factor” in the death of a 30-year-old woman in New Zealand, a coroner has said. Natasha Harris, who died three years ago after a cardiac arrest, drank up to 10 litres of the fizzy drink each day. This is twice the recommended safe limit of caffeine and more than 11 times the recommended sugar intake.
‘Developed an addiction’
Natasha Harris, a mother of eight from the southern New Zealand city of Invercargill, suffered from ill health for years before her death. Her family said she had developed an addiction to Coca-Cola and would get withdrawal symptoms, including “the shakes”, if she went without her favourite drink.
Ms Harris drank Coke throughout her waking hours and her teeth had been removed because of decay. Coroner David Crerar said her Coca-Cola consumption had given rise to cardiac arrhythmia, a condition when the heart beats too fast or too slow.
“I find that when all 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,” Mr Crerar’s finding said.
‘Could not be held responsible’
The coroner calculated that drinking 10 litres (17.5 pints) of Coke amounted to more than 1kg (2.2lb) of sugar and 970mg of caffeine, Television New Zealand (TVNZ) reports. Mr Crerar said that Coca-Cola could not be held responsible for the health of consumers who drank excessive quantities of its product. But he called on soft drinks companies to display clearer warnings on their beverages about the risks of too much sugar and caffeine.
Ms Harris and her family should have heeded the warning signs about her ill health, the coroner added. In a statement, Coca Cola said: “The coroner acknowledged that he could not be certain what caused Ms Harris’ heart attack.”
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Source: BBC News
Image: Your Health