Woman's Death Blamed on 2 Gallons of Coke a Day

New Zealand family faults company

By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 20, 2012 3:35 PM CDT | Updated Apr 22, 2012 5:39 PM CDT

(Newser) – A 30-year-old New Zealand woman died of a heart attack in 2010, and her death has been linked to her consumption of about 2 gallons of Coca-Cola every day for several years. Natasha Marie Harris consumed about 4,000 calories of regular Coke daily, reports CBS News. "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," her partner testified at an inquest this week. "She was addicted to Coke." The family wants warning labels on the product, notes the New Zealand Herald.

Harris also reportedly smoked around 30 cigarettes a day and ate very little. A pathologist testified that the primary cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia—an abnormal heartbeat often triggered by unhealthy habits. She also likely suffered from hypokalemia, a deficit of potassium in the bloodstream, probably brought on by the ingestion of large amounts of sugar and caffeine in the soda, he said. A Coke spokeswoman says the product is not at fault: "Grossly excessive ingestion of any food product, including water," combined with lousy nutrition, would do the same thing.

A photograph of Natasha Marie Harris.
A photograph of Natasha Marie Harris.   (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald)
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