Oldest woman reveals her secret

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Emma Morano, who is the oldest person on the planet, has revealed her secret to longevity.

For the last 90 years, she has eaten at least two eggs a day. That equates to over 100,000 eggs consumed in her lifetime.

Born in Verbania, Italy in 1899, Morano began eating eggs at the age of 20, after a doctor diagnosed her with anaemia in the wake of World War I. He told her to eat two raw eggs and one cooked egg daily.

These days, the Italian continues to eat her eggs. And cookies. But she says she does not eat much because she has no teeth.

Her doctor, Carlo Bava, confirmed that his patient didn’t follow conventional nutritional advice.

“Emma has always eaten very few vegetables, very little fruit. When I met her, she ate three eggs per day, two raw eggs in the morning and then an omelette at noon, and chicken at dinner,” he said.

But meat has since disappeared from Morano’s diet because, according to Bava, “she doesn’t like it anymore and someone told her it causes cancer.”

Bava puts her longevity partly down to genetics. Morano’s mother died at 91 and at least two of her sisters lived to be over 100 – but said having a daily routine and her great strength of character had also likely played their parts.

Morano has a few birthdays to go before she breaks the record for the oldest verified age: 122 years and 164 days, held by French woman Jeanne Calment who died in 1997.

Celebrating her 117th birthday on November 27, there are no plans for a party, though people from around the world are still likely to turn up to celebrate with the last known person alive to have been born in the 19th century.

She has proudly displayed on a marble-topped chest of drawers in her room, the Guinness World Records certificate declaring her to be the world’s oldest living person.

While her mind is alert, she is very deaf, speaks with difficulty and does not see well enough to watch television, spending her time either sleeping or snacking.

She has clung to her independence, only taking on a full-time caregiver last year, though she has not left her small two-room apartment for 20 years, and has been bed-bound for the last year.

Shoko Kurata
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