New Zealand woman drinks herself to death with Coke

A NEW Zealand woman’s ten-litre-a-day Coca-Cola habit was a major factor in her death, a coroner has found.

Natasha Harris, 30, a mother of eight from Invercargill on the southern tip of New Zealand, drank huge amounts of the cola for years before her death in February 2010, coroner David Crerar said yesterday.

He said Ms Harris suffered from a number of health problems which could be linked to the “extreme” amounts of Coke she drank, and which played a role in the cardiac arrhythmia that finally killed her.

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Mr Crerar said: “I find that … 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.”

A pathologist found Ms Harris had an enlarged liver due to fatty deposits caused by excessive sugar consumption and low potassium levels in her blood, which can affect cardiac function.

Her family said she complained of a “racing heart” before her death and they considered her addicted to Coke.

“[She would] go crazy if she ran out … she would get the shakes, withdrawal symptoms, be angry, on edge and snappy,” her mother-in-law Vivien Hodgkinson told the inquest into Ms Harris’s death last year.