New Zealand woman’s death linked to 8-litre-a-day Coca-Cola habit


By the time she slumped against a wall and collapsed dead of a heart attack, Natasha Marie Harris was drinking as much as 8 litres of Coca-Cola—and smoking about 30 cigarettes—every day. That’s according to her partner, Christopher Hodgkinson, who spoke recently at a coroner’s inquest in New Zealand.

“The first thing she would do in the morning was to have a drink of Coke beside her bed and the last thing she would do at night was have a drink of Coke,” Hodgkinson said, quoted by the Associated Press. “She was addicted to Coke.”

Harris, 30, was a stay-at-home mother of eight children in Invercargill, New Zealand. Dan Mornin, a pathologist, also testified at the inquest, pointing out that Harris suffered from hypokalemia, or low potassium. He attributed this to over-consumption of Coke and overall poor nutrition, the Associated Press reports.

“I never considered it would do any harm to a person. It’s a soft drink … I didn’t think a drink’s going to kill you,” Hodgkinson said, quoted in the Herald Sun.

In a statement, Coca-Cola had this to say:

“We concur with the information shared by the coroner’s office that the grossly excessive ingestion of any food product, including water, over a short period of time with the inadequate consumption of essential nutrients, and the failure to seek appropriate medical intervention when needed, can be dramatically symptomatic.”

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New Zealand woman’s death linked to 8-litre-a-day Coca-Cola habit

  1. Interesting that the daily recommended dose of water is about the same daily amount of coca-cola that played a role in killing this woman.

    • The daily recommendation for water is 8, 8 ounce glasses, not 8 litres.
      Considering there are about 33 ounces to a litre. 
      She was drinking 270 ounces of Coke a day, or 4.2 times the recommended amount.

      •  haha you are right i mixed up my units!

  2. 240 ml of coke= 100 kcal
    8000 ml = 3333 kcal/day
    average woman’s requirements=~1800-2000 kcal/day 
    death by malnutrition

    • I remember a case some years ago where university students ended up with scurvey.  There diet consisted mainly of mac & cheese out of a box.

  3. Imagine a world comprised of 2 tribes of married couples. 1 group, whom we’ll call Snorom comprise 1% of the population. People in the Snorom group die, on average at age 30, but manage to pump out 8 kids before. The second group, Slamron comprise 99% of the population. They on average live to 80, but each couple only produces 1 child before dying.

    How long before tribe Snorom outnumbers Slamron?
    How would your answers change if Snorom made up 10% of the total?
    Which group best deserves a Darwin award?

  4. HOLY…!! I was doing pretty close to that amount myself in my younger daze!! It went on for 6 months. I didn’t and still don’t smoke though. I was on this binge for 6 months, then I just said “enough!” Came to Canada and discovered Mountain Dew!! Did that for almost a year with LOTS of pizza. Guess why I am diabetic now? Well in control though!!

  5. It just goes to show that too much of anything can be a bad thing. Nothing wrong with a Coke, or even a rum and Coke, once in a while, but obviously Natasha Marie Harris drank herself to death. 

    The key is moderation. Aurea mediocritas. 

  6. 1 l. of Coke has 108 g of sugar in it. So she was consuming something like a kilo of sugar everyday. Amazing she made it so far.

  7. I have a subscription to Macleans and the conversion to the app is not working. It does not remember my subscription number. Where is the help to fix it?

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