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title pic Did Coke Kill New Zealand Woman?

Posted by Deborah Pujoue on May 10, 2012

Did Coke Kill New Zealand Woman?

Most of us have heard of how harmful drinking soda is, but I must say that it never occurred to me that it could kill someone. However, that is exactly what one New Zealand family thinks happened to Natasha Harris, 30, after she suffered from a cardiac arrest that inevitably led to her death.

Harris was known to drink a hefty amount of Coca-Cola before she died. In fact, the woman drank as much as 10 litres of the beverage daily. It was this huge amount of soda that her partner believes caused her death. Harris, from the southern city of Invercargill, was said to have been vomiting six times a week during the last few months of her life. Harris believed that her vomiting was caused by stress. She died suddenly in February 2010.

The young mother would often get moody and irritable if she didn’t get her daily dose of Coca-Cola; however, her family members never considered that the beverage could actually cause her death, says an Otago News report. Chris Hodgkinson, Harris’ partner, told Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar that Harris drank at least 10 liters of coke daily.

“The first thing she would do in the morning was have a drink of Coke and the last thing she would do in the day was have a drink of Coke by her bed,” he said. “I never thought about it. It’s just a soft drink, just like drinking water. I didn’t think a soft drink was going to kill her.”

The coroner doesn’t have a cause of death listed yet, but pathologist Dr. Dan Mornin told the court that Harris likely suffered from severe hypokalemia — which is a lack of potassium in the blood — because of her significantly large intake of soda. Mornin also stated that cardiac arrhythmia, along with her soda habits (which contains too much caffeine) and poor nutrition in general, likely caused her death.

For its part, Coca-Cola reps defended their product by saying that “grossly excessive ingestion of any food product, including water” could be harmful.

That statement made by reps for Coke is more than true. I have heard of people actually drowning themselves by drinking too much water, so it is not too far-fetched to believe that Coke may have helped to cause Harris’ death. So far, the coroner isn’t stating that the Coke itself killed Harris, but it certainly gives me food for thought.

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