A dependence on Coca-Cola led to the death of a woman who drank the equivalent of 2.2 gallons of Coke a day and died aged 31 from a cardiac arrhythmia, according to a New Zealand coroner.
The Fairfax media, reporting on the finding, wrote that Natasha Harris, of Invercargill, drank 10 liters of Coke a day — containing more than two pounds of sugar.
Her partner, Christopher Hodgkinson, found her slumped on the toilet gasping for air and she died on Feb. 25, 2010, from a cardiac arrhythmia.
According to the coroner's report, Hodgkinson and her friends said she would get headaches, act moody, and “get the shakes” without the soda, ABC News reported.
Agence France-Presse cited coroner David Crerar as saying in his findings:
"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."
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.
In the months before her death, Harris had reportedly complained of nausea, vomiting and a racing heart-beat — all indicative of excessive caffeine intake.
TVNZ wrote that Harris' consumption of Coke had led to the removal of several of her teeth after they rotted, while at least one of her children was born without enamel on their teeth.
However, Crerar made clear that "Coca-Cola cannot be held responsible for the health of consumers who drink unhealthy quantities of the product."
In his report he wrote:
"Natasha Harris knew, or ought to have known and recognized, the health hazard of her chosen diet and lifestyle."
He said given she was in clear ill-health, she should have consulted a doctor.