111-year-old Briton, the world's oldest man, credits fish and chips for longevity

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/04/17/111-year-old-briton-worlds-oldest-man-credits-fish-and-chips-for-longevity.html


No, he credits moderation in all things. Not smoking and drinking at all does a lot of the heavy lifting.

In the end, though, it’s a genetic crapshoot whether you get to enjoy quality longevity like this fellow. I hope he continues to enjoy his weekly fish and chips dinners for years to come.


The attempts to debunk Jeanne Calment’s 122 don’t seem very convincing.
Is the 119 year old considered legitimate? If you can live to 119 i don’t see why someone else can’t live to 122.


That three-year difference between 119 and 122 is a significant outlier when there are now dozens landing in the high 110s. It’s not impossible, just unlikely enough to make people suspicious.

Graphs that look like this:


Even then the genetic crapshoot is often the biggest factor in individual longevity.

This guy broke the century mark on a diet that consisted primarily of gin and cigars.



One of the more recent oldest women also enjoyed wine and chocolate daily. So, with the right genes, a little booze certainly doesn’t seem to cause much harm, at least in moderation.


It’s not like we have a thousand years of data. The earliest people on the list were born in 1875. Her and one other. That other is in the top ten.

That there are now hundreds of thousands of centenarians, none of them living to 120, their deaths forming a neat linear distribution that falls to zero at 119, is why one single person living to 122, decades ago, is a bit fishy. The new data is what makes it an outlier.

A crude but illustrative analogy:

From the 1970s until now, the 100m world record has crept down a few hundredths of a second at a time, from 9.9 seconds to 9.6 seconds.

Jean Calment is someone running 9.3 seconds at the 1996 summer olympics. It might be on the books but everyone would think they knew what was going on there.


The reliability of birth records from that time is a bit iffy, though.

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All that denotes is that it’s unusual to be the oldest person on record. No kidding.
If she didnt exist, people would have been saying the same thing about Sarah Knauss, 119 in 1999, until that record was broken nearly 23 years later.

My Father in Law’s mother died at about 100 (He was the youngest of ~8 and about 58 at the time, so fairly plausible). HIs mother was the youngest of ~14. Her eldest sister lived for another 15 years.

All in rural Greece and all born long before any records were kept so no way to prove anything. Nobody was really clear on how old she actually was. But I fully believe that some minuscule number of people make it into their 120s or even longer.


True. My great uncle smoked and drank constantly. His daily breakfast was steak and eggs washed down with a Coke. He lived to around age 80.

Yeah but he could have lived to 160 without all that Coke! :wink:


Life expectancy has really tanked after COVID.


Everyone knows that the real secret to longevity is a stiff dose of survivorship bias, administered continuously.


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