Elderly Woman Claims She Has Lived on Water and Soft Drinks Alone for 50 Years

A 75-year-old Vietnamese woman claims she has not eaten any solid food in 50 years, instead surviving only on water and sugary soft drinks.

Ms. Bui Thi Loi, from Loc Ninh commune, in Vietnam’s Quang Binh Province, looks in great shape for her age, which only makes her diet that much more surprising. The elderly woman insists that she has lived on water and soft drinks for half a century and that she never craves solid foods. It all started in 1963 when she was struck by lightning while she and other women were climbing up a mountain to treat injured soldiers during the war. She was knocked unconscious and although she survived, she was never the same after that. She didn’t eat anything for days after coming to her senses, so her friends started giving her sweetened water.

Photo: Tran Anh

A few years after the lightning strike incident, Ms. Bui Thi Loi continued to eat some solid food, mainly fruits, because her family and friends insited, but she never really felt the need for such food. In 1970, she shunned solid food for good, relying solely on water and soft drinks for sustenence. Her refrigerator and freezer are filled with bottles of water and sugary soft-drinks.

The 75-year-old woman claims that the smell of food alone is enough to make nauseaous, and although she always cooked for her kids as they were groing up, she never actually ate her own cooking. Now that her kids have grown up and moved out, her kitchen is gathering dust. Interestingly, because of her strange diet, she could never breastfeed her children, and had to ask others for milk.

Photo: Tran Anh

Any doctor will tell you that a balanced diet is essential to a healthy life, but Bui Thi Loi’s water-based diet is apparently enough to keep her healthy and eenergized. According to doctors from the Department of Nutrition at Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Hospital in Dong Hoi, the sugary soft drinks help replenish the body’s energy quickly in times of need and support the functioning of the body’s digestive system. However, they stress that soft drinks can be dangerous for human health and can lead to problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases.

Ms. Bui Thi Loi’s case has gone viral in Vietnam, a country where similar claims to hers are not uncommon. For example, earlier this year, we wrote about Thai Ngoc, an 80-year-old farmer who claimed that he hadn’t slept in 60 years. However, in both cases, the claims have yet to be scientifically verified, as they are currently only supported by witness accounts.

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