In February of 2010, Natasha Harris of Invercargill, New Zealand passed away after experiencing a cardiac arrythmia. It has been reported that the mother of 8 was a heavy smoker and skipped meals frequently, but the coroner’s conclusions show that her excessive consumption of Coca-Cola was a “substantial factor” in her death. Coroner David Crerar writes, "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."
Friends of Harris said that without Coke, Harris would get headaches, become moody, and experience withdrawal symptoms. She had several rotting teeth removed, her heart would race, and her liver was swollen. Apparently her family did not see Coke as a problem “due to the fact of it having no warning signs.” All you need to do is glance at the nutrition facts on a can of the stuff to see that drinking 2.6 gallons of it isn’t exactly normal or healthy. And really, 2.6 gallons of anything a day isn’t normal or okay! This habit, however, would provide her with 2.2 pounds of sugar daily.
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola commented that he was saddened by the fact that the coroner chose "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." Crerar simply wrote that “The hazards to the health of the consumers of excessive quantities of sugar and caffeine contained in carbonated beverages could be more clearly emphasized.”
I’d like to think that the public shouldn’t need to be reminded not to drink 42 cups of soda over the course of 24 hours. That said, I am a recovering soda addict (my parents let me drink soda on the way to church every Sunday. What?) and this makes it even easier to try to stray away from my beloved, fizzy drinks. I try to remind myself that drinking soda is kind of like drinking acid. A deceivingly delicious acid.
The spokesman went on to state, “The safety of our products is paramount, and our promise is to deliver safe, quality beverages. All of our products have a place in an active, healthy lifestyle that includes a sensible, balanced diet and regular physical activity." Yeah...maybe if that place is an imaginary, itty-bitty tip of the food pyramid titled “substances with 0% nutritional value!”
Source: ABC News
Photos via Sodahead.com and Wallpaperstock.net