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Warren Buffett will not apologize for his junk food addiction

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer

"I really wish i had a twin, and that twin had eaten broccoli his entire life. I know I would have been happier, and I think the odds are I would have lived longer," Warren Buffett said at Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK-ABRK-B) 51st annual meeting.

Unlike CEOs like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, who lead elusive personal lives, Buffett is not a man of mystery. In fact, he’s pretty much an open book about everything from his investing philosophy to his thoughts on Jesus Christ to his enviably gluttonous diet. He actually opened the meeting by cracking open a can of Cherry Coke.

During the Q&A portion, CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin posed a question about Berkshire's 9.22% stake in Coca-Cola (KO). He asked Buffett to defend Coke, given various health concerns surrounding soda consumption.

Buffett reiterated that he’s "one-quarter Coca-Cola" because he drinks at least five 12-ounce servings every day. "I happen to elect to consume 700 calories a day of Coca-Cola; I'm not sure which quarter and I'm not sure we want to pursue that question," he said. "I think Coke is a marvelous product." (I can attest that this is not just a myth. I was formerly a producer on CNBC’s morning show, “Squawk Box,” when Buffett was interviewed at the network’s NJ headquarters in March 2014. His only green room requests were Oreos and Cherry Coke).

But how can Buffett remain so bullish on junk food when young adults are making healthier choices, opting for organic, locally sourced foods? He says the junk food market has staying power because goodies will always make people happy. “I don’t see smiles on the faces of people at Whole Foods,” he famously said at last year’s annual meeting.

Buffett's sweet tooth reaches far beyond Coke. Berkshire bought confectionary company See’s Candies, known for its chocolate lollipops and peanut brittle, in 1972, and acquired the ice cream chain Dairy Queen in 1997. His favorite treat is a small sundae with extra cherry topping and nuts. But it's not just DQ. He’s crazy about all kinds of ice cream, including Häagen-Dazs strawberry, which is his power breakfast from time to time.

Despite being an octogenarian, Buffett appears to be in good shape. At Berkshire’s 41st annual meeting a decade ago, he explained that there is one deadly sin that doesn’t deserve such a bad rap. “There’s real upside to gluttony — I’ve had some great times with gluttony.”

On Saturday he said, "I have not seen evidence that convinces me that it'll be more likely that I'll reach 100 if I suddenly switch to water and broccoli." Old habits die hard, and in Buffett's case, it's made him happy.