Very sad story out of New Zealand. A 30 year old woman dies and the family blames a poor diet and her consumption of 10 liters per day of Coca-cola for her death.

Read the full article here:

The article cites one person as saying “her Coke habit had become an addiction: ‘She would get moody and get headaches if she didn’t have any Coke, and also feel low in energy.'”

But “Ms Harris’s mother, Lynette, said on Tuesday that she did not hold Coca-Cola responsible for her death. ‘It was her choice to drink Coke. She didn’t like water or tea or coffee, and she didn’t eat much either, and that had a lot to do with it.'”

I agree with the deceased’s mother that her daughter chose to drink Coke beyond the recommended levels of consumption. No one forced her to drink the soft drink and she certainly could have replaced it with water, though she would have experienced some caffeine withdrawal effects due to her tolerance. That period of discomfort would have been difficult but it is certainly better than dying, especially with 8 children! How tragic!

This article epitomizes the addiction battle: is it a disease that attacks a person as suggested by some in this article or is it a choice problem in the ruling desires within one’s own heart? While there is a physical component to any chemical addiction, there is always a choice to do what is right with the helpful support of others. Addicts are not always “senseless victims” but are often responsible for their own choices.

The article also stated: “In the coroner’s findings, Professor Doug Sellman of the National Addiction Centre said Coke should be added to an international list of addictive substances. ‘Growing neurobiological research is strongly indicating that some people can develop a compulsive habit related to certain highly palatable foods, that looks very similar to the same behavioural pattern observed in a drug addiction.'” So I guess now we will have to start asking addicts, “What is your soft drink of choice? in place of drug of choice.” When will the insanity end? Everything pleasurable can become “addictive” because our hearts’ desires are to blame primarily, not just a substance.

Outward behaviors, additional laws, and surface help is all the world can offer but Christ offers more hope and practical help: transformation by His Spirit in conjunction with His Word of truth.

-Mark (very saddened by the loss of life and the continual victimization of responsible persons)