Reports confirm that 30-year-old Natasha Harris, a New Zealand mother-of-eight who died of an alleged heart attack three years ago, ultimately passed away due to her addiction to Coca-Cola. Although Coca Cola Ltd. insists that there's no proof Harris' aggressive consumption of the soda beverage contributed to her unexpected death, Coroner David Crerar released a report on Tuesday (Feb. 12), claiming that Harris' dependency on caffeine and poor nutrition indeed led to her fatal cardiac arrest in 2010.
Harris' de facto partner Christopher Hodgkinson claims that the young mother would consume up to 10 litres of Coke a day - equivalent to more than twice the 400mg recommended safe limit of caffeine. "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... She had no energy and was feeling sick all the time ... She would get up and vomit in the morning...she would get moody and get headaches if she didn't have any Coke and also feel low in energy." Hodgkinson said in the death inquest. Harris also ate very little, and would smoke up to 30 cigarettes a day.
Hodgkinson found Harris slumped over on the toilet, gasping for air on February 25, 2010. She later died of cardiac arrest.
According to the death inquest, Harris' teeth had been pulled out because they became so rotten from decay. At least one of her eight children was born having no tooth enamel.
Although Coca Cola claims Harris' death could not be definitively linked to her caffeinated soda addiction, coroner David Crerar released this report on Tuesday:
"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.''
Coca Cola recently released this statement in response to Crerar's findings:
"The Coroner acknowledged that he could not be certain what caused Ms Harris' heart attack. 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. This is contrary to the evidence that showed the experts could not agree on the most likely cause."
Crerar agrees that Coca-Cola should not be held responsible "for the health of consumers who drink unhealthy quantities of the product," but he does urge that the popular soda company consider including the quantity of caffeine content on its labels. He also recommends including a warning label about excessive consumption.
Crerar also suggests that the New Zealand Ministry of Health review and revise nutrition labels on soft drinks, so consumers are more aware and protected.