Darren Jones, 38, of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England reports that he has been addicted to Diet Coke since he was 13, and needs rehab to get his life back on track. His six liter a day habit has gotten so bad that he admits he would have trouble choosing between the drink and the mother of his two children.
“When I leave the house I have to have a bottle at all times and take it to parties in case there isn’t any on hand. Diet Coke was at my side when my children were born and my friends even pay me in Diet Coke’ for petrol money.”
All of Darren’s previous attempts to quit have failed, and he was eventually diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. He found it increasingly difficult to get around and lost his job as a taxi driver in 2007. Dr Vicci Owen-Smith, NHS Stockport’s deputy director of public health, said:
“Diet Coke is sweetened with the artificial sweetener aspartame and contains caffeine. Too much of either of these chemicals may cause harm. I would advise trying to cut down on the amount he drinks but not stopping suddenly.”
For their part, a Coca-Cola delivered the legal speak nonsense you would expect from a company trying to dodge a lawsuit:
“Drinking more than 6 litres of any liquid exceeds guidance on daily fluid intakes by agencies such as the Food Standards Agency. Coca-Cola has a variety of drinks in a range [of] pack sizes. Our packaging clearly shows caffeine, calorie and sugar content in relation to recommended daily guidelines. For those who prefer beverages made without sugar or caffeine, Coca-Cola offers a variety of options that give people choice, including many sugar-free and caffeine-free products. All of our drinks can be enjoyed in moderation as a part of a healthy diet and active lifestyle.”
Hopefully 2012 will be the year Darren can break the habit.