Personal responsibility has reached a new low where a New Zealand woman, Natasha Harris, who drank 18 pints of Coca-Cola per day mysteriously died.
Yes, you read that right. 18 pints. For reference, if you drank that much fresh water daily you'd be at serious risk of euvolaemic hyponatremia a.k.a. too much fresh water excessively diluting the sodium in the body. So if you're going to drink anything at a rate of 18 pints per day, Coke - or indeed beer - is a far better choice than water. That does not, however, make it a good idea.
Consuming 18 pints of caffeinated sugar solution has its problems. Coke has about 34mg of caffeine per 12 oz, which is about 55mg per pint (assuming imperial pints); that's about 1g of caffeine per day. This is well under the mean lethal dose of 200mg/Kg body weight but equivalent to about 8 cups per day. 1 pint of Coca-Cola has about 65g of sugar so Ms. Harris was consuming well over 1Kg of sugar per day. I'm staggered that she didn't fall into a diabetic coma within a couple of weeks of starting this diet.
I'm sure that Ms. Harris was advised by her nearest and dearest that this wasn't a good idea, surely?
[Her partner] Mr Hodgkinson told the court that she had been unwell up to a year before her death, including vomiting six times a week, but they believed it was caused by the stress of looking after her eight children and gynecological problems.As we saw, water is even more dangerous. But she had lost all her teeth to the drink, went "crazy" whenever she couldn't get it - couldn't someone who cared for her actually get her to stop?
'I didn't ever think about the Coke. I never considered it would do any harm to a person. It's just a soft drink, just like drinking water. I didn't think a drink's going to kill you,' he said.
Mr. Hodgkinson did try to take action, but his timing and direction were not helpful:
Coca-Cola confirmed it had hired a security firm to shadow its staff, after Mr Hodgkinson allegedly made death threats against the company before she died. He rejected claims he had made the threats, but said he held the company responsible for Harris' death.<bangs head on table>. Mr. Hodgkinson, you were having to throw away four empty 2.5L bottles of Coke every single day. How could you and Ms. Harris not be aware that this was not normal, and really bad for both you?