Eight children lost their 30-year-old mother when she died from drinking too much Coca-Cola, says a coroner in New Zealand. Is it possible to drink soda, yet be healthy and lose weight?
None of Natasha Marie Harris’ children is over 12 years old.
She died, it seems, because she was addicted to the sugar and caffeine put into the soft drink. How did so much sugar and caffeine get into Coca-Cola? Well, it was put in there with the specific purpose of addicting those who drink it.
Now, I’m don’t blame The Coca-Cola Company for killing this unfortunate woman. The responsibility for her spectacularly bad decisions –she drank as much as 10 liters of Coke a day– rests on her own shoulders.
Responsibility, however, is a knife that cut two ways. The people at The Coca-Cola Company are responsible for misleading, manipulating and profiting from the misfortune of Natasha Marie Harris and others like her. They acted immorally and selfishly and continue to do so on a daily basis.
The Coca-Cola Company markets an unhealthy drink as a refreshing and life-enhancing treat. With literally billions of dollars of advertising (more than Microsoft and Apple combined), they encourage you to drink as much Coca-Cola as possible, as often as possible. Then, they lace the drink with sugar and caffeine, both of which are known to be addictive. In fact, researchers have found that suddenly cutting sugar intake can cause the same withdrawal symptoms as morphine or nicotine in rats.
The people at The Coca-Cola Company didn’t kill Natasha Marie Harris. But they did contribute to her death. If it means you will buy more Coke, by all indications they would be just as happy for you to Coke yourself into obesity and perhaps death, too.
Always a Fan of Coke
Natasha Marie liked to drink Coke even as a teenager. In recent years she began drinking more and more of it — as much as 10 liters a day. Her life partner Chris Hodgkinson said Natasha was addicted to Coke and without it would become moody, irritable and “quite nasty” and be low in energy.
Before killing her, her Coca-Cola habit caused her to vomit six times a week. A doctor said the vomiting was probably caused by having too much caffeine in her body. The Coke also rotted her teeth so badly that a dentist had to pull every single one out of her jaw.
Ms Harris apparently drank no other beverage and very little alcohol.
No one in the family linked the symptoms to Coca-Cola until after she died.
“I never thought about it. It’s just a soft-drink, just like drinking water,” said her partner.
Just Like Water, But Fun!
That’s exactly what The Coca-Cola Company wants you to think: Coke is as wholesome as water, but more fun. Many times on this site, I’ve repeated what my grandmother used to tell me. “Never trust a food marketer,” she’d say, as she rocked in her chair.
The food marketers at The Coca-Cola Company have marketed their drink as “the real thing.” The bright red colors are cheery and celebratory. Advertisements suggest Coke is wholesome, delightful and beneficial.
Yet what is inside the can is not beneficial at all. The caffeine in Coke is considered by the US government as a “habit-forming” and “deleterious” substance. (See how much caffeine is in Coke at mayoclinic.com.) Most people have a mild caffeine addiction, but too much of it can be deadly. (On energyfiend.com, you can calculate exactly how many of your favorite energy drinks it would take to kill you.)
Then there is the sugar. Coke contains more sugar than anyone should drink. Natasha Marie Harria drank as much as 10 liters of Coke a day. In this way she consumed more than 2 pounds (1 kilo) of sugar. (See how much sugar is in Coke on sugarstacks.com. You’ll be surprised.)
Early Coke went further in creating addictions. Rather than rely just on sugar and caffeine, it used the hard stuff. Actual cocaine. The first Coke recipe contained so much cocaine that fans of the drink called it “dope.” Coke delivery wagons were called “dope trucks.” Read more about Coke’s cocaine history on straightdope.com.
What You Can Do Today
If you’re serious about weight loss, you should never drink another soft drink. It’s as simple as that. Instead, make some herbal tea, chill it and carry it around with you in a bottle. Your body will thank you.
The most important step is to change your mental associations with Coca-Cola and similar drinks. Remember Natasha Marie Harris and her 12 children every time you see a Coke can. Stop thinking of it as a desirable treat and start considering it as the fat- and death-carrying contagion it is.
To help you in this, I’ve found a fascinating infographic on soda consumption. See it here.
In case you want to read more about Natasha Marie Harris, I’ve selected three of the best news stories for you:
- New Zealand Herald, “Mom’s Death Blamed on Coke“
- USA Today, “Woman dies after downing 2 gallons of Coca-Cola Daily“
- Sydney Morning Herald, “Coroner finds drinking too much Coke killed mother“