ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – Medical examiners determined that a woman passed away due to complications caused by her extreme addiction to drinking Coca-Cola.
The woman, 30-year-old Natasha Harris of Invercargill in New Zealand, was said to have consumed an estimated 2.2 gallons of the soda per day, the Discovery Channel’s news website is reporting.
David Crerar, the coroner charged with investigating the 2010 death of the mother of eight, was quoted as saying that her habit “was a substantial factor that contributed to the development of the metabolic imbalances which gave rise to the arrhythmia”.
He added, “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.”
Before her death, Harris reportedly exhibited symptoms of withdrawal if she happened to run out of the beverage.
“[She would] go crazy if she ran out,” Vivien Hodgkinson, her mother-in-law, was quoted as saying by the Discovery Channel in an interview last year. “[S]he would get the shakes, withdrawal symptoms, be angry, on edge and snappy.”
Coca-Cola Oceania released a statement, which was obtained by the station, stating that experts – including Crerar, allegedly – did not feel that their product contributed to Harris’ arrhythmia conclusively.
“Therefore 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,” the statement
All the same, Crerar said he feels that Harris’ death should serve as an impetus for the Atlanta-based company to include warning labels on all of their drinks.
“[I recommend] that Coca-Cola give consideration to the inclusion of advice as to quantity of caffeine on labels (in) its products and… adding appropriate warnings related to the dangers of consuming excessive quantities of the products,” he said, according to the Discovery Channel.
He also noted, however, that “Coca-Cola cannot be held responsible for the health of consumers who drink unhealthy quantities of the product.”