30-year-old mother died because of her extreme Coca-Cola addiction

Natasha Harris Coke Addiction

Natasha Harris, a young mother of eight children, died of cardiac arrest in her New Zealand home nearly three years ago. An inquest has now determined that Harris’ death was directly connected to her habit of drinking up to 18 pints of Coca-Cola per day.

“I found 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 New Zealand coroner David Crerar to the Bussleton-Dunsborough Mail.
Even before her untimely death, Harris experienced a racing heart and rotted teeth, which are two negative side-effects of addiction to the sugary caffeinated beverage. Her partner, Chris Hodgkinson, told the court that Harris was also vomiting up to six times a week during the year before her death. The couple believed this was related to gynecological problems and the stress of looking after eight children.
“I didn’t ever think about the Coke,” Hodgkinson said. “I never considered it would do any harm to a person. It’s just a soft drink, just like drinking water. I didn’t think a drink’s going to kill you.”
CokeIn fact, Coca-Cola and other soft drinks are not “just like drinking water.” Besides the risk of death in an extreme case such as Harris’, regular soda consumption is linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and high cholesterol.
“Consuming large amounts of rapidly digested sugar and high fructose corn syrup causes a spike in blood sugar and insulin, which can lead to inflammation and insulin resistance, both of which may increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer,” said Dr. Melina Jampolis in an article for CNN.
The American Heart Association suggests drinking no more than 450 calories of sweetened beverages a week. This is equivalent to three cans of Coke. With an 18-liter-per-day habit, Harris was consuming more than 7,000 calories from Coke on a daily basis. According to reports, she also ate very little, and smoked 30 cigarettes a day.
In addition to the physical damage caused by excessive amounts of Coke, Harris also experienced anxiety when she wasn’t able to get her fix.
“She would get moody and get headaches if she didn’t have any Coke and also feel low in energy,” Hodgkinson said, adding that Harris would drink it from the time she woke in the morning until she went to sleep at night.
In response to the inquisition, a spokesperson for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said the medical findings weren’t conclusive.
“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.”
Regardless, it’s hard to deny that such an extreme dependence on a sugary, caloric beverage is problematic. If you drink more than the recommended 450 calories a week, try scaling back by swapping pop for water. If you really crave flavor, test out Crystal Light or other low-calorie drinks.
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  • Booger

    I drink one or 2 cans of cherry coke a day….but i also drink a ton of water…i am only 105 lbs. and pretty healthy, but this still scares me…maybe i should cut back to one a day

  • Oscar’s Mom

    I drink 6 cokes a day and I seem just fine… Sounds to me as if the coroner doesn’t like Coke

    • Ace

      She also smoked 30 cigarettes a day, which Starcasm chose to leave out. Not sure where my comment about that went.

      • starcasmnet

        Your previous comment didn’t go anywhere!

    • ashley

      The absence of symptoms does not equal the absence of disease. Just because you seem fine now doesn’t mean you are healthy. Six cokes a day is a lot that is sure to be detrimental to your health.

    • ameliaBedelia76

      6!!! Woah….i’d cut back….gmo’s much…???

  • novm

    I can not believe there are still people out there that do not see the link between diet and health. If you cared about your health you should not be drinking soda at all. What is really sad is seeing mothers give their babies soda in bottles. Great way to raise an unhealthy addicted child.

  • HoardersFan

    In the photo, she is not depicted as an obese woman. If she was really consuming 7,000 “empty Calories” per day, she would be quite a large woman.

    • Mickey

      She was also not eating very often and had 8 children which makes it seem as though she was very active. But you’re right, if she was drinking that much soda it would seem like it would show.

  • Ace

    Coke was not to blame for her death. I live in NZ, and you missed out a few details, like the small fact she also smoked 30 cigarettes a day. Drinking ANY fluid in quantities that large a day can kill you, including water. And any fool knows you don’t drink that much coke a day and that it’s unhealthy. It is in no way just like drinking water, who believes that? One of her children was also born with no enamel on it’s teeth, which might not be linked to her drinking coke, but very well could be. People need to take some responsibility for their own (or their loved ones) actions, not blame coke.

    • Oscar’s Mom

      That’s exactly the point I was trying to make. Coke was not solely to blame, while it is not healthy to drink so much as she did there has to be some other contributing factors.

    • novm

      Smoking, though unhealthy, was not the cause of her death. Sugar from soda was the cause of death. “A post-mortem examination revealed she had an enlarged liver, and deposits of fat within the liver owing to consumption of excessive amounts of sugar. Pathologist Dr Dan Mornin. meantime, referred to Natasha’s high caffeine intake as a contributing factor to the arrhythmia which killed her.”

    • ameliaBedelia76

      you can’t die from drinking water, what an idiotic comment. there is enough of garbage in coke to contribute to her death.

      • Sweet Venom

        Do some research before you speak. It’s called water intoxication. You get it from drinking too much water. Anything, even something healthy, can be unsafe if taken in large doses.

        • Karen

          “Anything, even something healthy, can be unsafe if taken in large doses” Exactly! Case in point!

      • LexiconD1

        You absolutely can too die of drinking too much water. Look up the Hold Your Wee for a Wii case.

      • 1GrayGal

        Actually, while rare, you can indeed die from drinking too much water within a shortened period of time. It happened in the US recently to some radio contest winner.

  • Lia

    got stop drinking coke!

  • PaigeMyrissa

    Just because you arent overweight doesnt mean youre healthy. The simple fact is that soda is bad for you, period. That’s not to say that you cant enjoy a soda occasionally, I do. But drinking it everyday, let along 6 a day, just isnt good for you, and it seems ignorant to me to assume that because youre skinny, youre fine.

  • Nathan

    Her “partner” didn’t see the difference between drinking coke and drinking water? Why are idiots the ones having all the children?

  • Olivia

    18 pints = 8 liters a day? Too much liquid a day I think, too much sugar, too much coffeine.

    I drink cca 2 pints of coke per year. It’s enough.

  • anjealka

    I have a genetic condition that causes my heart to beat faster then normal. As I got older my heart race increased. I had a heart monitor on and just by drinking 1 can of coke my heart rate would jump 30+ beats a minute. I can’t cure my condition but just by cutting out caffineated beverages and drinking water and juices my heart rate is 10 bpm lower. I used to drink a few cans of soda a week but no beverage is worth your health.

  • Jen

    This scares me because I drink about 3 to 4 cans of coke a day!

  • ladybird

    Super old story!!

  • 1GrayGal

    You can’t diagnose dumb!

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