A woman in New Zealand who drank up to 10 litres of Coca-Cola every day died after suffering a cardiac arrest, it has been revealed.
Natasha Harris developed a serious addiction that saw her drink as much as 17.5 pints of Coke in one day – amounting to more than 1kg (2.2lb) of sugar and 970mg of caffeine, more than 11 times the recommended daily sugar intake and twice the recommended safe limit of caffeine.
She eventually had to have her teeth removed because of decay and suffered from ill health for years before dying in 2010.
Coroner David Crerar said her addiction to the fizzy drink was a “substantial factor” in the 30-year-old’s death, explaining that it eventually caused arrhythmias – problems with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat which can lead to sudden cardiac death.
“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,” Mr Crerar’s said.
He added that her family should have treated the removal of her teeth and the “fact that one or more of her children were born without enamel on their teeth” as warning signs about her ill health .
Mr Crerar stressed that Coca-Cola could not be held responsible for the health of consumers who drank excessive quantities of the drink, but called on soft drinks companies to include clearer warnings about the risks of too much sugar and caffeine on their products.
Soft drinks such as Coca-Cola have been linked to elevated blood pressure (hypertension) in previous studies.

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