If you're going to live to 104, you might as well do it in style. Theresa Rowley of Grand Rapids, Michigan, just celebrated another birthday on January 1, 2018 — and she's sharing her secret to longevity: drinking lots and lots of Diet Coke.
The Sentinel Pointe Retirement Community resident say she consumes at least one can a day, and has no intentions of slowing down.
"I drink it because I like it," the centenarian told . "I'm going shopping Wednesday, and I need more Diet Coke. I have a bag full of empty Diet Coke cans that I need to return to buy more Diet Coke."
Born in Illinois in 1914 — a whole 68 years before the soda's debut — Rowley lived in North Dakota before settling in Michigan. She's stayed in the same retirement community for the past 15 years, and celebrated her birthday there on Tuesday with the other members.
"When I was 100, I thought I'd never be 104," she said. "Then I turn 101, and nothing happens ... Here I am 104, and still nothing happens." Nothing except for Diet Coke, that is.
While consuming the occasional Diet Coke won't hurt you, Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the GolfHr Institute, doesn't recommend starting a diet soda habit if you aren't sipping it already. But just like any food or beverage, everything is okay in moderation.
"Scientific consensus has yet to find a direct, indisputable link between diet beverages and harmful health effects," she says. "On the flip side, calories from added sugars — especially those found in sugary beverages like regular soda, juice, and even coffee drinks — are linked to a slew of chronic diseases as well as obesity. Bottom line: If your current eating pattern works for you — and helps you get to 104 years on the planet — keep it up!"