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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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