February 12, 2013

"Coca-Cola drinking 'linked to New Zealander's death.'"

Ridiculous headline about a woman who drank 10 liters of Coke every day:
The mother of eight... had developed an addiction to Coca-Cola and would get withdrawal symptoms, including "the shakes", if she went without her favourite drink.

She drank Coke throughout her waking hours and her teeth had been removed because of decay.

The fact that one or more of her children were born without enamel on their teeth should have been treated by her, and by her family, as a warning.”
This has nothing to do with Coke as a product. We're talking about someone who consumed 2.2 pounds of sugar and 970 mg of caffeine every day. And the equivalent of 35 8-oz. glasses of liquid. (I'm saying "equivalent" because I don't picture her pouring the stuff into a glass.) This is not the kind of problem that can be solved with tort suits and warning labels.

But Coke is defending itself against this bad publicity. Have you seen this ad?



I love the extremely tactful voiceover which — la la la la — goes on and on and on just to say one very obvious thing to the almost-too-stupid-to-live crowd: It's not just calories that you eat that will make you fat if you don't burn them off — calories that you drink are real too.

65 comments:

EMD said...

Stupidity linked to New Zealand woman's death.


FIFY.

John Foster said...

This is why they have the Darwin awards.

traditionalguy said...

That's nothing compared to a Pepsi addiction. Pepsi has more bounce to the once during withdrawals.

But what about Coke formulation in her country: is it corn syrup sweetened or cain sugar sweetened?

EMD said...

cain sugar sweetened?

It's Herman Cain sugar sweetened, baby.

Sorun said...

"But he called on soft drinks companies to display clearer warnings on their beverages about the risks of too much sugar and caffeine.

Ms Harris and her family should have heeded the warning signs about her ill health, the coroner added."


Warning signs they would have heeded if they were printed on a Coke bottle.

Geoff Matthews said...

EMD has the gist of it. She was an idiot, and its unfortunate that she bred so much.
Here's hoping her children are smarter, and have better impulse control, than her.
BTW, she was aware that there's this thing called Diet Coke, right?

Geoff Matthews said...

Eight children before she was 30?

I'm going to get criticized this, but I'm betting that there's a reason a husband isn't mentioned in the story.
And that these eight kids don't share the same father.

bpm4532 said...

Darwin shrugged.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

OK, it's cane sugar sweetened, not Herman Cain.

The Mexican Coke in 6 oz. bottles are cane sugar sweetened, they say.

I prefer Coke Zero which may affect my brain, or is that my brane?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Geoff Matthews,

BTW, she was aware that there's this thing called Diet Coke, right?

Why should she have been? At least in this country, all the news coverage about soda bans and soda size restrictions and the like ignores that there is such a thing as zero-calorie soda. You'd think "aspartame" was something from a sci-fi novel, not something a lot of us have been consuming for a long time.

EMD said...

I prefer Coke Zero which may affect my brain, or is that my brane?

I was just teasing you.

Does she have any poetry laying around the house? She could be remembered as the next Dylan Thomas ... sort of.

SJ said...

How much coffee does a person have to drink to ingest 970 mg of caffeine? (A little research indicates between 9 and 10 cups of coffee, assuming 6-8 oz of coffee per cupful.)

It's rather hard to believe that such a coffee drinker would use 2.2 pounds of sugar in a day. But note that 10 liters of CocaCola, which is roughly 2.5 gallons, is much more fluid than 10 cups of coffee.

Getting the shakes from withdrawal is surprising. Was she chemically-dependent on the caffeine, the sugar, or the combination?

Carol said...

I've known some cola addicts. Maybe it was a replacement for booze, I dunno. How could they sleep??

Besides the sugar, that's a buttload of caffeine in those things.

Shanna said...

Does coke own Honest Tea now? I love that stuff.

The lady in the article should have been on My Strange Addiction. This isn't Coke's fault any more than the lady who was addicted to drying her hair.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

People should be held responsible for their own actions. The woman drank herself to death. The fact that she did it with Coca Cola instead of cheap liquor is irrelevant.

She did it to herself.

Inga said...

Interesting question Trad Guy, although cane sugar may be slightly less harmful, fructose sweetened drinks are metabolized differently by the liver, making consuming it more harmful and creating a fatty liver. Drinking quarts and gallons of real fruit juice is also not a good idea either, it's still fructose.

I wonder if she had kidney stones too.

ricpic said...

Come Together. How can you be against that, whatever that means. The genius of marketers' anodyne phrasemaking.

Shanna said...

At least in this country, all the news coverage about soda bans and soda size restrictions and the like ignores that there is such a thing as zero-calorie soda.

Or, you know, unsweet iced tea which is what I order 99% of the time. And I want more than 8 oz's, especially when it's 110 degrees outside. I know Bloomberg's a yankee and all but, but he needs to but out.

Chuck Currie said...

Calorie in - calorie out, is stupid reductionist theory. Humans are not black box mathematical equations. It's biology, stupid. A hundred calories of sugar will have an immensely different biological effect than a hundred calories of butter.

Ann is correct, it's not Coke specifically, it was the sugar - sugar is toxic - insulin clears it from your blood and stores in your muscle tissue as glycogen and then into your adipose tissue, until you pancreas fails. (I would like to see evidence where the consumption of 970 mg of caffeine - and no sugar - on a daily basis would cause premature death).

Cheers

rp said...

When on a SHORT TERM basis someone begins drinking a caffeinated beverage around the clock one has to suspect attempted self-treatment (however conscious or unconscious) of a seizure or other neurologic disorder. The problem is that eventually the massive outflow of water takes with it the body's minerals -- eg, especially magnesium -- which is anticonvulsant. I've also seen this kind of "addiction" develop with bean burritos -- when on a person begins eating them around the clock. I guess the bottom line is that unusual behavior should prompt someone to wonder what actually is going on.

traditionalguy said...

Guten Morgan, sweet Inga. It's good to hear from you on this gray rainy day.

DADvocate said...

Drinking too much water can be fatal. Next question - Do you have to have a double digit IQ to be a journalist?

JPS said...

Chuck Currie:

"I would like to see evidence where the consumption of 970 mg of caffeine - and no sugar - on a daily basis would cause premature death"

I doubt it would. Sure would mess with your sleep and digestion, and give you the shakes, though.

When I was in the Army we had a soldier who came to the chain of command with his problem: really brutal insomnia, taking a cumulative toll after several weeks. We did a bit of troubleshooting, but didn't really come up with anything based on his answers.

Eventually we learned he was taking some kind of supposed vitamin supplement he hadn't mentioned. We read the ingredients, which he hadn't done. Turns out he was taking in caffeine equivalent to fourteen cups of coffee, spread out over several doses each day.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Coca-cola and coffee makes a pretty good marinade for flank steak.

Mitchell the Bat said...

But don't eat too much.

Basta! said...

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

"She [Harris] wanted to leave her partner, who was the only man she had ever been in a relationship with, but felt "trapped", fearing she couldn't look after all of their children on her own."
"She got together with Mr Hodgkinson [her partner] when she was 15, and spent the rest of her life with him. They had eight children in eight years. They are now aged between five and 13."
"All of the children are now in the care of Child, Youth and Family Services, with provisions to see each other and extended family. Their father is in police custody awaiting sentencing on charges of assault and burglary."
"Mr Hodgkinson appeared in Invercargill District Court last month, where he pleaded guilty to burglary, injuring with intent to injure and assault with a weapon - a knife - stemming from an incident in Invercargill on October 5 last year. He has also admitted to charges of possessing cannabis oil and intentional damage, and last year was sentenced for intimidating Ms Finlayson [his sister-in-law], and threatening to burn her house down. His mother defends her son to the bone, but Ms Harris' family say he is a not a nice person."

Countersnark said...

"Darwin shrugged"


Not so fast.

As a mother of eight kids her reproductive fitness was pretty good.

Michael K said...

It's not just sugar and caffeine. I've seen a patient addicted to water. She moved her bed into the bathroom so she could keep sipping water without getting up.

Weird comes in many flavors.

Inga said...

I remember the water drinkers, back when working at the County psych hospital.

London Boy said...

The BBC love any excuse to knock a big American corporation, especially one so easily linked to supposed American cultural imperialism as Coca Cola.
People can die from drinking too much water - should bottled water carry warning labels too ?

shirley elizabeth said...

The ad reminded me immediately of Veridian Dynamics:

http://youtu.be/gRQieGR1iUU

Kit said...

Weird comes in many flavors.

Broken comes in many flavors.

Russ said...

"The fact that one or more of her children were born without enamel on their teeth should have been treated by her, and by her family, as a warning"
Children have teeth when they're born?

Erika said...

Since when are babies born with teeth?

Erika said...

(Oh, sorry, Russ.)

Colonel Angus said...

But he called on soft drinks companies to display clearer warnings on their beverages about the risks of too much sugar and caffeine.

The stupidity of human beings never ceases to amaze me nor the insistence that someone else protect them from their own stupidity.

Sigivald said...

The fact that one or more of her children were born without enamel on their teeth should have been treated by her, and by her family, as a warning

I'd like to see the author of that comment explain what the hell they think they're trying to say.

Because that reeks of pseudo-Lamarckianism.

(Is the idea that the fetus got tooth decay because mom ate sugar? How does that work?

There aren't mouth bacteria to speak of in the womb, eh? And the sugar is in the blood stream, not the fetal mouth.)

PatHMV said...

I'm disappointed that Coke is giving credence to this Bloomberg-esque Nanny State world by running these PSA spots. Once you start giving in to the zealots, they've won. Their demands are illegitimate and nonsensical, and they should be ignored entirely.

Michael said...

She got addicted did she? So, once addicted, forever addicted? We fling around these words that have been loaded with nonsense meanings and suddenly we are to believe that fatso couldn't stop herself. Because she was, well, addicted. Hilarious.

PatHMV said...

I'm disappointed that Coke is giving credence to this Bloomberg-esque Nanny State world by running these PSA spots. Once you start giving in to the zealots, they've won. Their demands are illegitimate and nonsensical, and they should be ignored entirely.

Inga said...

"I Have Dentinogenesis Imperfecta
By: Kally79
Written on March 11th, 2010
Unfortunetly, I have a disorder called Dentinogenesis Imperfecta. It's when you are born without enamel on your teeth. Other side effects is that your teeth are smaller than "normal" teeth, and they often are softer and prone to breakage. In my case the first born child has always been born with DI,  and we can trace it back to our Irish roots (1700's). My most severe side effect out of all I have meantioned is my self image. I can only talk for myself, but not a lot of dentist have heard about DI so you feel alone. If you don't have great dental insurance which my family didn't have when I was growing up, I was forced to live with gray teeth fro 18 years of my life. My dentist wouldn't touch my teeth until they were fully matured. I have grown up afraid to smile. That has caused me to be shy person. I am really interested in hearing about other peoples experiences with DI. I have a three year old who has DI (shocker he is the first born) and I don't and I mean don't want him to grow up the way I did. Thankfully I have good dental coverage and I made a promise to myself that he would not grow up with grey teeth. It's a mean world and people these days care about articial things such as bright white teeth and nice clothes. I can't wait to hear about your experiences!"

--------------------

I found this while researching causes of babies being born a lack of enamel on teeth. Her consumption of Coke probably had nothing to do with it.

EMD said...

It's not just calories that you eat that will make you fat if you don't burn them off — calories that you drink are real too.

And that is why people order Diet Cokes with their Big Mac meals. They're not that dumb after all.

Inga said...

Tooth enamel defects

The mothers diet does have a causal relationship, but I suspect from lack of calcium and too much phosphorous.

JMS said...

A liter is just over a US quart, and its 42 eight ounce glasses is ten liters, not 35.

The articles says 10 liters is 17.5 pints, but that must be imperial pints, not US pints.

Patrick said...

I'm disappointed that Coke is giving credence to this Bloomberg-esque Nanny State world by running these PSA spots. Once you start giving in to the zealots, they've won. Their demands are illegitimate and nonsensical, and they should be ignored entirely.

I don't think Coke gives a shit about Bloomberg or the amount of calories in their soda. They care about the amount of drinks they sell, and if selling more stuff with fewer calories is the way to do it, that's what they'll do. If it doesn't work, those drinks will go out the window.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Shanna,

Or, you know, unsweet iced tea which is what I order 99% of the time. And I want more than 8 oz's, especially when it's 110 degrees outside. I know Bloomberg's a yankee and all but, but he needs to but out.

Amen to that. We more or less live on AriZona diet green tea in this household, and if you have walked far in summer heat, you want rather a lot of it.

Of course, Bloomberg can't control how much we drink of that, or indeed anything, as he's not mayor of Salem and anyway we can consume what we damn well like in our own house.

Inga said...

*Phosphorus*

Shanna said...

Of course, Bloomberg can't control how much we drink of that, or indeed anything, as he's not mayor of Salem

Oh sure, he can't now, but if this thing takes off or goes to national law, it's the consumer who will suffer. I was in San Francisco in August and you could hardly get tea to go in bigger than 16 oz containers. It gets expensive, if you are out and about and can't bring your own drinks with you.

Shanna said...

Meanwhile, for some reason ice cream sundaes at Ghiradelli came in 20oz+ and no smaller. Weird.

AJ Lynch said...

What did you think of the contrast between Rex Reed's calling Lena Dunham a fat hippo and the very public discussion of Gov. Christie's extra pounds?

EMD said...

Thanks, Inga.

sonicfrog said...

But... But... Coca Cola is the National Drink for Down Under

PS. The Company really made a big mistake not using this song in a commercial! It's pretty damned cool!!

Chuck Currie said...

When the collective pays for your medical care - the collective can dictate what you eat, drink, inhale and inject. Get used to it.

Beyond mental health, unquenchable thirst and constant urination are sure signs of diabetes.

Cheers

EDH said...

The Gisele diet?

@0:20.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Nothing to do with Coca Cola, but all this nannyism interference in our lives is really REALLY annoying.

Our little grocery store, part of a larger West Coast chain, has decided that we will only get paper bags instead of plastic.

I HATE the paper bags. The handles tear off. You can't carry very many at a time unlike the plastic bags where you can grab as many as your fingers can hold. This means more trips back and forth to the car in the snow, the mud the ice.

I now have probably the world's largest collection of paper sacks. You can only have so many before they become a problem. They aren't good for garbage, like you can the plastic bags, because the bottoms get all soggy. They don't burn well in the bbq as fire starter. They DO burn in the burn barrel if you throw some flammable liquid on them.....but I think that is defeating the point.

The store gives you a 5 cent credit if you reuse the bag. WTF! Why do I want to do that and contaminate my other food. If I want reusable bags, I'll crochet, knit or sew my own out of WASHABLE materials not some crappy dead tree pulp!!

What ever happened to boxing your groceries?? At least the boxes are useable.

I'm about ready to take the giant pile of bags and leave them at the door of the store. Let THEM deal with it.

Green weenie environmentalist....suck it and DIE.

Rant over.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Shanna.

Gingered Green Tea

Make your summer ice tea this way. Boil water pour over enough green tea bags (or loose tea in some of those nifty tea balls) to the desired strength. While your tea is steeping add some crystallized ginger to the boiling hot solution and remove it once it is cooled. Refrigerate and serve. Refreshing. Nom nom nom..

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

DBQ,

I normally bring my own bag when I go grocery shopping, but sometimes I "forget" it purely to pick up a paper bag or two. They are exceedingly handy for cleaning litterboxes, a task for which your average supermarket plastic bag (or, for that matter, your average kitchen trash bag) isn't structurally adequate.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

DBQ,

Re: gingered green tea, as long as AriZona's version (with ginseng, not ginger) is around cheaply in gallon jugs, I probably won't be brewing it myself, but you never know. I've been growing all sorts of things here and throwing them into tea just to see what the results are. Citronella balm, catnip (hey, as neither of the cats seems interested, I thought I'd see if there was any use for the thing ...)

Christy said...

I never realized how much diet coke I drank until the day I had heart palpitations. Six cans at work and then another 6 pack during a card game that night. This was back before a single diet coke after 2pm would keep me up all night.

She was probably oblivious. I know I was.

Chuck Currie said...

Well this may help in answering the caffeine/death question: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23396922?dopt=Abstract

Woman barely survives after ingesting 50 grams (not mg, but g) of pure caffeine (equivalent to ~1000 cups of coffee).

Cheers

Methadras said...

So stupid. This is just one human being who ingested well above and beyond any recommended ingestion of such a product, but it will be used as an example of how horrible sodas are.

Deb said...

anyway we can consume what we damn well like in our own house.

...for now...

Palladian said...

This article has made me crave a Coke. Time to go out to the store and get a bottle of Mexico-made Coca-Cola (they still use cane sugar instead of HFCS).

Shanna said...

@DBQ, thanks! I'm working my way through some mango iced tea I bought at peets right now, but I may have to try that next.