19 September 2008

113 years old and going strong

Want to live longer? Don't drink alcohol and make sure you eat your veggies, says the world's oldest man on his 113th birthday this week.

Want to live longer? Don't drink alcohol and make sure you eat your veggies, says the world's oldest man. Tomoji Tanabe celebrated his 113th birthday on Thursday, telling reporters at his home in southern Japan about his joyful life and healthy appetite.

"I'm happy," said Tanabe as the local mayor presented him with flowers and a giant tea cup glazed with his name and date of birth. "I'm well. I eat a lot," he added.

Tanabe, recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living male last year, eats mostly vegetables and believes the key to longevity is not drinking alcohol.

Plans to live another 10 years
The former civil servant lives with his son, drinks milk every day and has no major illnesses, although he now writes in his diary only once or twice a month. He used to write on a daily basis.

"His favourite food is fried shrimp, but we've heard that he's cut back on oily food," said an official at his hometown of Miyakonojo, about 900 km (560 miles) southwest of Tokyo. "He's said he wants to live for another 10 years, that he doesn't want to die."

The Japanese are among the world's longest-lived people, with the number of those aged 100 or older at a record 36,276, a government report last week showed.

Japanese women have topped the world's longevity ranks for 23 years, while men rank third after Iceland and Hong Kong. – (Reuters Health, September 2008)

Read more:
Who lives longest, and why?
Chronically ill can live to 100


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