It’s common for people who have lived a long time to divulge their “longevity secrets”, but in most cases they nor anyone else really knows what the answers to their long lives are. In some cases, centenarians attribute their long life to their vices. Could there be a coffee, whiskey, and cigars longevity diet? Or, as a wag put it: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms – Longevity Edition.
Look at this man: 107-year-old U.S. veteran says he owes longevity to cigars, whiskey and ‘staying out of trouble’. Richard Overton, the veteran in question, is now 110. Here’s a National Geographic video about him. He’s the oldest living veteran of World War II.
I’m going to make the case here that Mr. Overton’s lifestyle has something to do with his long life.
Here’s what I gathered from several articles and videos about Richard Overton:
I”m beginning to think that drinking coffee and whiskey and smoking cigars is healthier than eating a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with skim milk for breakfast. Not that the former is so great, but compare it to the alternative that most people have for breakfast.
By doing so, he’s not raising his blood sugar or contributing to insulin resistance. Coffee is also associated with better health and a longer life, and inhibits iron absorption.
By having only coffee and whiskey for breakfast, he may be practicing a form of intermittent fasting. At least, he doesn’t seem to be eating around the clock like almost everyone else these days.
Moderate alcohol drinking is associated with less heart disease.
He might be practicing hormesis by smoking cigars. Tobacco use is associated with much less Parkinson’s disease. He’s said that he doesn’t inhale; while cigar smoking is associated with higher death rates, much of that appears to be due to lung cancer, which is caused by inhaling smoke. While I’m not recommending cigar smoking, it doesn’t seem to have harmed Mr. Overton.
He’s not overweight. There aren’t too many fat centenarians.
Too much sleep, over 8.5 hours, is associated with higher mortality.
He still drives and owns guns. While someone in better health could be expected to stay more active, being active also helps one stay in better health.
Being socially active and especially attending church is associated with longer life. He has a girlfriend and a family and lots of friends.
Overton appears very easy-going. He’s said that after having bullets fly around him in the Pacific in World War II, nothing else could bother him.
He said that he’s stayed out of trouble. That could mean avoiding bad people and dangerous things, thus avoiding getting hurt in a crime or an accident. If you want to live a long time, that’s a necessity.
Undoubtedly, Mr. Overton is blessed with a great genetic makeup. But some of his lifestyle could contribute to his long life.