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Sweden's oldest man turns 108

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12:00 CEST+02:00
Eric Gottfrid Andersson from western Sweden will blow out the candles for the 108th time this weekend and attributes his long life to not smoking and eating healthy food.

Andersson, who was born in 1905 just after the union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved, inherited the title of the country's oldest person after Sven Hedberg passed away last year, also aged 108.

He now lives in a nursing home in Varberg and told SVT Hallandsnytt the secret of his century plus lifestyle.

"I have always taken care of my body as you only get one. It's because I haven't gassed myself to death with tobacco smoke and I've eaten good food," said the birthday boy.

The centenarian was seven when the Titanic sank in 1912 which was the same year Stockholm hosted the Olympic games. He's lived through two world wars and numerous other historical events but says one of his best memories is the introduction of electricity to his hometown.

"We were so delighted. We'd had paraffin lamps before and now all we had to was press a button to get light. That was when I decided that I wanted to be an electrician," said Andersson who worked in the industry for 60 years.

Now living out his days in a nursing home the pensioner said he intends to "just take one day at a time."

Andersson still has a few years to go to match the record of Sweden's oldest ever person. Astrid Zachrison, who was born in 1895, passed away in 2008 just a few days shy of her 113th birthday.

The Swede is but a spring chicken compared to the world's oldest person, Misao Okawa, who is still going strong at the age of 115 in Japan.

French woman Jeanne Louise Calment remains the oldest person on record who died at the age of 122 back in 1997.

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