A woman from New Zealand who reportedly drank as much as 2.6 gallons of Coca-Cola per day to fuel her ‘Coke addiction’ has died, and experts are saying that her serious craving for pop was a major contributor. The news could not come at a worse time for Coca-Cola, who has already been hit by both government bodies and consumers alike for their cancer-linked beverage. In fact, the Coca-Cola company made an emergency recipe change in March to remove an ingredient known as 4-methylimidazole (4-MI or 4-MEI) that would have required a cancer warning labeling to be slapped onto the soft drink.
As it was recently removed to avoid the label, this means that Natasha Harris’ Coca-Cola excessive consumption was accompanied by the carcinogenic ingredient. In addition to 4-methylimidazole, Harris also consumed gallons and gallons of a liquid containing aspartame, high-fructose corn syrup, and 40 grams of sugar per can. When you perform some simple math, you can see that Harris actually consumed around 41 and one half 8-ounce cans of Coca-Cola on her heaviest binge drinking days. Further equations show that, at 39 grams per 8-ounce can, Harris was taking in around 1,618 grams of sugar per day. To put that into perspective, that’s 1,598 grams more than the recommended daily limit.
According to expert Dr. Dan Mornin, Harris probably suffered from hypokalemia, or low potassium. Mornin says that this was most likely a result of her excessive Coke consumption, which severely affected her bones. To answer the question as to how anyone could possibly consume such copious amounts of soda despite the serious health risks, it’s important to examine the research regarding sugar addiction. Not only has sugar addiction been labeled as the ‘new alcoholism‘ by health professionals, but a growing body of research also has found that it is actually as addictive as cocaine.
Another health professional expressed concerns over the consumption of Coca-Cola and other sugary beverages, stating:
“it is certainly well demonstrated that excessive long or short term cola ingestion can be dramatically symptomatic, and there are strong hypothetical grounds for this becoming fatal in individual cases.”