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

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.

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