- The world’s oldest person alive is now Emma Morano who is 116 years old
- Emma said she eats raw eggs daily and has stayed single since she was 38 years old
- Her physician for 23 years said her health has been stable and cites genetic component as a significant factor in her long life
116 years old. That’s Emma Morano’s age which makes her the world’s new oldest person alive.
Morano, who is from Verbania, Italy, is believed to be the last documented person alive who was born in the 1800s.
When she heard about the news, The Telegraph reported that she was “pleased” about her new title.
Dr. Carlo Bava, her physician for 23 years now, delivered the news that she is officially the world’s oldest person.
“She was very, very happy and sitting up in a chair. She was well contented,” Bava told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
“She was told this morning and she said ‘My word, I’m as old as the hills’,” Rosi Santoni, a 72-year-old relative of Morano, told the news agency.
On Thursday night, the former titleholder, Susannah Mushatt Jones, who is also 116 years old, died in New York City. She was sick for the past 10 days.
When reporters asked Morano what her secret to long life is, her answers were a bit unusual. She said she’s been eating two raw eggs daily for decades now upon a doctor’s suggestion years ago. It helps her counter anemia. The other recipe for her long life, as she told The New York Times, is staying single since she was 38 years old when she ended a bad marriage.
“I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone,” she explained.
Other elderlies who have reached this age also had unusual habits like Morano. As NBC News reported, Mushatt-Jones, the former titleholder, was reportedly eating fried bacon daily while a man in California who has lived until 100 years old, cited eating a doughnut a day for his last 30 years, as one of his unusual, secret-to-long-life habit.
Journalists visited Morano’s home in Verbania to interview her. Morano lives in a one-room apartment where she is kept company by a caregiver and her two elderly nieces.
“I am doing fine —116!” she told well-wishers from her bed last Friday.
Bava cites genetic component as the key to Morano’s longevity; along with her positive outlook in life. He explained that Morano never really had a very balanced diet. She ate animal protein and occasionally would eat fruits like bananas and grapes. One of her sisters lived until over 100 years old, and another almost reached 100, too.
Bava said Morano’s health has also been stable for so many years and she has no chronic ailments.
“Her longevity is a genetic fact, nothing else. She is a person who from a young age had a difficult life that would have sapped the energy out of anyone,” Bava said.
Bava also added that Morano’s former husband beat her and she lost an infant son to crib death at 6 months old. She financially supported herself since then working in a factory that produces jute bags and then transferred to a hotel where she worked way past her retirement age.
“She abandoned the husband in the Fascist era, when women were supposed to be submissive. She was always very decisive,” her doctor said.
Italy is known for its centenarians and many of them live on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. Gerontologists from the University of Milan are studying Morano and other Italians that are over the age of 105 to try and figure out why they live for so long.