British man named the world’s oldest at 111 – and his secret is fish and chips


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Brit John Alfred Tinniswood, 111, was confirmed as the world’s oldest man by Guinness World Records. The secret to his longevity? Luck, moderation and regular portions of fish and chips.

Tinniswood’s new title follows the death of the previous Venezuelan record-holder, Juan Vicente Pérez Mora, who passed away this month at the impressive age of 114. Gisaburo Sonobe from Japan, who was next longest-lived, died 31 March at 112.

The Liverpool-born great-grandfather and retired accountant received a certificate from Guinness World Records at the care home where he lives in Southport, northwest England.

Born on 26 August 1912, mere months after the sinking of the Titanic, Tinniswood is one of a dwindling number of Brits to have lived through two world wars, and himself served in the British Army Pay Corps in WWII.

Though many hail the Mediterranean diet as the key to living longer, the new titleholder said he didn’t follow any special diet – except enjoying fish and chips every Friday. Also key to his longevity, he said, was moderation.

“If you drink too much or you eat too much or you walk too much – if you do too much of anything – you’re going to suffer eventually,” he told Guinness World Records.

Apart from avoiding excess and eating the classic British dish once a week, though, he believes it’s “pure luck”.

“You either live long or you live short, and you can’t do much about it,” Tinniswood said.

Despite his newfound title, Tinniswood is not the world’s oldest living person – that crown belongs to the world’s oldest woman 117-year-old Maria Branyas Morera of Spain.

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