A woman’s Coca-Cola addiction death a few years back has been cited as a possible datapoint in the relative safety of heavy soda consumption, but the soft drink maker has said it does not believe that its products pose a meaningful risk to healthy adults.
The woman’s Coca-Cola addiction death occurred in New Zealand in early 2010. Mom of eight Natasha Harris reportedly drank more than two gallons of the sugary beverage every day and died suddenly of a heart ailment three years ago.
Still, many were shocked when Coroner David Crerar cited Harris’ habit in her alleged Coca-Cola addiction-related death. Crerar described her Coke love as a “substantial factor” in the cardiac arrhythmia she suffered, writing after he examined her body:
“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.”
Since Harris’ Coca-Cola addiction death, the findings have repeatedly been referred to when discussing the health impact of soft drinks, and Crerar further noted that he believes Coke should “give consideration to the inclusion of advice as to quantity of caffeine on labels (in) its products” and include “appropriate warnings related to the dangers of consuming excessive quantities of the products.”
Given the publicity surrounding the woman’s Coca-Cola addiction death, Coca-Cola Oceania was forced to respond in a statement, saying the company is “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.”