Almost a year ago, we wrote about Natasha Harris, the 31-year-old New Zealand mom with a two-gallon-a-day Coke habit. She died of a heart attack and there was an inquest into the causes of her death. Today, the coroner’s report has been released and it reads, in part:
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.
The examination after her death showed that she had an enlarged liver with fatty deposits due to too much sugar, said a pathologist. She reportedly consumed up to TWO POUNDS of sugar per day (TWO.POUNDS.Y’ALL.) and 970 milligrams of caffeine, due to her addiction to the soda. The Coca-Cola company is reportedly “disappointed” in the way the coroner emphasized Coke’s role in Harris’ death, and says that the company ”cannot be held responsible for the health of consumers who drink unhealthy quantities of the product.”
I think people could easily argue that this sad situation has nothing to do with Coca-Cola, that it has to do with this woman and her irresponsible use of a product. That’s true. There’s no one on Earth (or at least, there shouldn’t be) who can drink over two gallons a Coke a day and think they’ll be ok. Reportedly, Harris also smoked two packs of cigarettes daily and did not eat much; one of her children, even, was apparently born without tooth enamel.
Obviously, Coke must distance themselves from Harris’ death. They say there’s no way to prove which of the factors that contributed to her death ultimately killed her: “This is contrary to the evidence that showed the experts could not agree on the most likely cause.”
But although Coca-Cola says that people should use their product in moderation, they also know it’s not really, in any way, a healthy product. Soft drinks (“diet” ones, in particular) are continually linked to health problems from diabetes to heart disease to obesity and even depression. There’s nothing to be gained from drinking Coca-Cola products; in fact, there’s much to be lost.