World’s Oldest Woman Turns 116, Attributes it to Lack of Junk Food

The world’s oldest woman celebrated her 116th birthday this past weekend, and we couldn’t help but wonder how she reached the milestone without looking a day over 89.

Besse Cooper of Monroe, Georgia, received a unique gift this year: a bridge named in her honor in her Georgia hometown. The city leaders were pleased to name the bridge after their Guinness World Record holder, and to highlight their town on the map.

Besse is one of only eight people who have been confirmed to be at least 116 years old. That is one seriously impressive accomplishment. Besse told Guinness World Records that her keys to longevity have been minding her own business and not eating junk food. Hard to argue her logic; clearly her methods work.

While Besse is nearly in a league all her own, many people do live to see higher digits even if they don’t make it to 116. According to, there are seven effective health habits of centenarians. Besse’s core habits can be found on the list.

1. Regular Exercise
2. Good Nutrition
3. Good Sleep
4. Healthy Mental Behavior
5. Good Social Behavior
6. Healthy Spiritual Self
7. Conscientious Health Habits

It seems avoiding junk food and minding one’s business fit very nicely into these habits. It also seems plausible that Besse and her fellow centenarians started these habits at an early age, not once they hit the 100-year mark. Although we can’t help but point out that they would be beneficial for anyone to take up at any age.

Besse made an exception to the junk food rule by celebrating her birthday with a brightly-colored, vanilla frosted cake decorated with candles; although not 116 as few cakes can handle such a display.

Congrats to Besse. May we all take a page from her book and eat to our health, and keep our noses out of others’ business. Happy Birthday Besse!

Also Read:

Nutrition Diva’s 5 Secrets for Aging Well 

Top Cities for Aging Well Revealed 

Is Resveratrol Really Reversing Aging 

photo by jessica mcgowan

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