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What can Britain’s oldest man teach us about staying healthy?

The secret to a long life has been coveted for decades. Some suggest it’s down to physical activity, others speculate that it is down to daily rituals such as standing on one leg or practising good karma…

Instead of merely guessing, why not ask the oldest man in Britain for his input? Meet Bob Weighton. He knows what 1908 looked like and still lives a very active lifestyle. At 109 years of age, he swears that his longevity is down to his diet more than anything else.

oldest manBob has had the fortune of enjoying a lifetime of global culinary delights, and this may well be the secret to his long life. Having worked as an engineer and travelled the world at a young age, Bob worked in far flung places such as Ghana and Taiwan, where he sampled some of the local cuisine, but spent a good period of time living with a Japanese family where he tried sushi well before it was common in the UK and dined regularly on fish. This may be his big secret to a long life as Japan has consistently scored highest in global life expectancy, and scientists speculate that a large amount of this is down to their diet.

However, whilst enjoying these global foods and staying away from the less healthy British staple foods, Bob did have some home comforts whilst living abroad. He has always enjoyed a daily boiled egg, and this is a ritual he still follows to this day. He did, however, have to stay away from lamb whilst abroad as it was almost impossible to find!

Throughout most of the rest of his life, Bob has dined on home cooking – mostly “meat and two veg”. He says he didn’t go out for food very often either, as is perhaps the case with much of that generation, as dining out was considered a privilege and not the part of weekly life as we see it.

Now, he tends to enjoy the fruits of his culinary past. Mango is his favourite fruit (and one he used to enjoy regularly abroad), and he regularly enjoys curry. Even at 109 years old, Bob enjoys getting creative with his cooking and doesn’t like to cook the same meal in a particular week. One regular, though, is his breakfast, which consists of the slightly less cultural Wheetos and a piece of fruit…

So, it appears the oldest man in Britain enjoys a fairly regular diet. Whilst there’s no mention of a local kebab shop he ever visited, his current diet is so normal the secrets of his longevity are probably held in the past. This all points to a trend in long living that scientists have evidenced for decades – his Japanese diet. Whilst Bob shows that a bi-weekly shop at Waitrose for the normal groceries isn’t going to harm, the lesson to learn from his life is the good practice in the past. A good diet is clearly the best secret to staying healthy!