Ten litres of Coca-Cola a day contributed to death - coroner
Massive quantities of Coke drunk by New Zealander Natasha Harris 'helped kill her' at the age of 30
A NEW ZEALAND mother's addiction to Coca-Cola saw her drink up to 10 litres of the soft drink a day and contributed to her death at the age of 30, a coroner has found.
Coca-Cola had argued that the death of Natasha Harris on 25 February, 2010, could not be linked to her consumption of massive quantities of the fizzy beverage. But in findings released today, coroner David Crerar said Harris would not have died if it wasn't for her dependence on Coke, the New Zealand news website Stuff reports.
"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," Crerar said.
Stuff points out that 10 litres of Coca-Cola is equal to "more than twice the recommended safe daily limit of caffeine and almost one kilogram of sugar".
Harris, who has eight children, was found by her husband slumped on the toilet at their home in Invercargill on New Zealand's South Island. The cause of her death was cardiac arrhythmia, Crerar found, but she was suffering from a number of health conditions which could be linked to the "extreme" amounts of Coca-Cola she drank.
An autopsy found that Harris, who did not drink alcohol, but smoked 30 cigarettes a day and "hardly ate", had a liver enlarged by fatty deposits caused by excessive sugar consumption. All of her teeth had been removed because they were rotten and some of her children were born without enamel on their teeth.
Friends told the inquest into her death that she would "go crazy" if she ran out of Coca-Cola and started to get "angry" and "snappy".
Coca-Cola said it was "disappointed" that the coroner had chosen to focus on "the combination of Ms Harris's excessive consumption of Coca-Cola, together with other health and lifestyle factors, as the probable cause of her death".