Friday, May 10, 2013

one thing all centenarians have in common

one thing all centenarians have in common


A Centenarian is a person who lives to or beyond 100 years. 

I read an article earlier in the week about a 105-year old woman who claims eating bacon is the reason for her longevity, and it got me to thinking...

centenarian who loves eating bacon
image from an article at vibe.com

So I did a little poking around the google, and started reading article after article about centenarians, along with looking at scores of pictures. What I found wasn't really surprising, but it was smack-you-in-the-face obvious:

Centenarians are a subset of people who are not obese.

If that sounds confusing; let me explain. Think about this:

All dogs have four legs, but not everything that has four legs is a dog. (I know - spare me the comments about your dog who was different. We rescued a three-legged dog in college - that's not the point.)
All centenarians are not obese, but not everyone who is not obese will live to be a centenarian.

centenarian
from the photo essay "Happy at One Hundred: Aging Can Be Beautiful."

I gathered that most centenarians like to stay busy and active - they have hobbies they're passionate about, they read and watch movies, and they socialize with friends and family members.

I learned all different types of diet tips, which makes sense considering there are centenarians living throughout most of the world.

But for all the information I devoured, I couldn't find one picture, article, or mention of someone living to be 100 years old who was obese.

What can we learn from our centenarian society?

I write about health and fitness from a long-term perspective.

I don't care about having 6-pack abs, or being able to deadlift three times your body weight, or running a six-minute mile. I don't care whether you eat more protein, or carbs, or the right number of vegetables. None of those things has a direct correlation with living a longer, healthier life.

Carrying around too much excess weight is the only thing that has a direct impact. More fat equals more trips to the doctor, more medications, more stress on your joints, more difficulty moving around - especially as you get older, and more certainty that you won't live to be 100.

If you want a chance at a longer than average life, eat modest portions of less-processed foods, and move a little more. You don't have to look like a super model or a professional athlete to be healthy - but you do have to stay reasonably thin..

family celebrates grandpa's 102nd birthday
my boys and their cousins celebrate grandpa's 102nd birthday.

More information

7 Inspiring People Over 100 Years Old

Top 10 Oldest People Ever

Happy At One Hundred: Aging Can Be Beautiful

105 Year Old Woman Says Bacon Is Her Secret to Long Life

Wikipedia: Centenarian

-Chris Butterworth

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