When you imagine the Fountain of Youth, what does it look like for you? The restorative spring as described in tales featuring Alexander the Great? A park in St. Augustine, Florida? Or is it a brisk run, two liters of water, a day at the spa, a bottle of pricey skin serum?
If you ask Theresa Rowley, who turned 104 on January 1st, 2018, it comes in a silver can with a familiar red logo.
That’s right – Rowley has been drinking a minimum of one Diet Coke per day for a pretty long time. Of course, the beverage wasn’t rolled out by Coca-Cola until Rowley was nearly 70, so she can only give it credit for the last 35 years of vitality.
Aside from Diet Coke, Theresa loves potato salad, that classic mix of mayonnaise and boiled potatoes that’s so popular at summer cookouts.
If none of this sounds particularly life-lengthening, know that Theresa isn’t alone. Grace Jones, who is 111, says she owes her long life to the shots of whiskey she drinks daily. Adele Dunlap, age 113, never exercises and used to be a smoker.
So even if Theresa Rowley keeps knocking them back, it looks like she has a shot at being around for at least another five years. She is stymied as to how she’s made it this long, but she’s keeping herself busy enough. “I’m going shopping Wednesday, and I need more Diet Coke,” she informed WZZM. “I have a bag full of empty Diet Coke cans that I need to return to buy more Diet Coke.”
News of Rowley’s habit comes at a time when the public is considering the junk food addiction of a very public figure. The New York Times recently revealed via multiple White House sources that President Donald Trump drinks up to 12 Diet Cokes daily.
Artificially sweetened soft drinks are engineered to taste much sweeter than regular sugar, which may lead to the drinker to overeat. This happens because when the body registers that super sweet taste, it expects that calories are on the way. When the calories don’t appear, you get really hungry.
If you continue to trick your body with artificial sweeteners in this way, hormone production will become irregular, and your chances of getting type 2 diabetes skyrockets.
Theresa’s one-per-day regimen isn’t a health tonic by any stretch, but it probably isn’t doing her in, either. “I drink it because I like it,” she says. And at the age of 104, who would deny that she’s earned the right to her favorite treat?