Theresa Rowley of Grand Rapids, Michigan, recently just turned 104 years old. That’s quite a feat and the centenarian has a tough time believing it herself, she says the secret to her longevity lies in one drink — Diet Coke.
In an interview with WZZM, Rowley said, “It just doesn’t seem like I should be that old.” She’s currently a resident at the Sentinel Pointe Retirement Community, where she has lived since she was a youthful 89. When asked how she made it to 104, Rowley wasn’t quite sure, saying only that she drinks Diet Coke every day, adding, “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.”
She continues, “When I was 100, I thought I’d never be 104; I thought I’d pass away by that time but it just didn’t happen.”
Rowley doesn’t remember when she and her family moved to Grand Rapids but says that she was born in Illinois in 1914. Today.com notes that Diet Coke didn’t even hit the shelves until 1982, but for the last few decades, the 104-year-old hasn’t been able to get enough of the stuff.
Nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix told Today.com that there’s no real reason Diet Coke could lead to a long life, saying, “Diet Coke has no value, except for providing some hydration…but otherwise adds nothing to your state of health.”
But, despite Taub Dix’s analysis, there are plenty of Americans who swear by their Diet Coke. President Trump reportedly drinks 12 Diet Cokes every day, per a New York Times report. That juicy tidbit led to a lot of the major papers calling up experts for their take. The Washington Post noted a study suggesting that a Diet Coke habit increases consumers’ risks of dementia and stroke.
But, Rowley is still going strong and says there’s no real secret behind her love of the carbonated drink, telling WZZM, “I drink it because I like it.”