Supercentenarian Lived on Sausages and Waffles

Posted on September 5, 2006

Every once in a while there is a case that baffles the experts. This is one of those cases. George Johnson lived to 112 years of age. He was a WW1 veteran and his diet consisted of junk food and food items like sausages and waffles. An autopsy showed that he had the organs of a 50 or 60 year-old. He was even able to continue driving until he was 102. reports that some experts think it is probably due to excellent genes.

"He had terrible bad habits. He had a diet largely of sausages and waffles," Dr. L. Stephen Coles, founder of the Gerontology Research Group at the University of California, Los Angeles, said Friday.

The 5-foot-7, 140-pound Johnson died of pneumonia Wednesday at his Richmond home in Northern California.

"A lot of people think or imagine that your good habits and bad habits contribute to your longevity," Coles said. "But we often find it is in the genes rather than lifestyle."

Johnson, who was blind and living alone until his 110th birthday when a caregiver began helping him, built the Richmond house by hand in 1935. He got around using a walker in recent years.

Johnson was the only living Californian considered a "supercentenarian," a designation for those ages 110 or older, Coles said. His group is now in the process of validating a Los Angeles candidate who claims to be 112 years old.

It was probably great genes. Or, maybe we should start studying what kind of syrup Johnson used on those waffles.

More from Science Space & Robots