Coca-Cola Addiction "Killed Woman"

By Chrisanne Grise 04/19/12

Her partner seeks retribution against the drinks giant.

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Coca-Cola has one man seeing red. Photo via

When a New Zealand woman, Natasha Marie Harris, died suddenly in 2010 at the age of 30, her boyfriend swore revenge on her "killer": Coca-Cola. Yesterday Christopher Hodgkinson spoke to an inquest on his partner's death, placing the blame squarely on Coca-Cola's shoulders because she drank about four and a half to eight liters of Coke a day for seven or eight years before she died. "The first thing she would do in the morning was have a drink of Coke and the last thing she would do in the day was have a drink of Coke by her bed," Hodgkinson said, adding that when Harris didn't get her soda, she'd become moody and suffer from low energy. Medical records show that Harris died of a cardiac arrhythmia, but Dr. Dan Mornin told the court that excessive consumption of soft drinks can cause severe hypokalemia—a lack of potassium in the blood—which can lead to an arrhythmia. When she first died, Coca-Cola's New Zealand managing director had to hire private security and get his employees to dress in plain clothes and drive unmarked cars, after receiving death threats from Hodgkinson. It's not the first time a Coca-Cola consumer has declared an addiction: in January, a self-proclaimed Diet Coke addict from England hit 490 pounds after drinking 42 liters of soda every week.

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices,,, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.