Jane Fonda is smart, beautiful, and thin.  She’s an inspiration to all women over eighty.   But most of us know we’ll never look like that.  Anyway, who wants to look like Jane Fonda.?

According to her bio, Jane Fonda is  5’8”” and weighs 128.  This gives her a Body Mass Index of 19. * Wow!That’s just one point away from being underweight.  Some people have a great metabolism and have always been able to eat anything they want and not get fat.  But not Jane.  She says she was an overweight twenty-something and suffered from bulimia for years.  And so, Jane, like most of us, has to work at staying thin.

How does a an eighty year old movie star maintain the BMI of a teenager?  Other than a ton of exercising, and maybe some help from a plastic surgeon, I’m thinking she would have to go on a diet of lettuce leaves and pickles.

Do you really want to be as think as Jane Fonda.
Jane Fonda is an inspiration to octogenarians. But most of us know we will never be that thin.

Do I really want to skip my lunchtime smoothies, my pork chop and mashed potato dinners, my chardonnay, and ice cream for dessert?   Should I  spend hours exercising at the gym or doing pilates?  Supposing I decide to load up my frig with spinach  and kale, and throw out the good stuff like cheese?  Is it worth it to be admired for my figure?   The National Institute of Health says no.

The NIH  has found that underweight  older women with a very low BMI are actually more at risk for mortality than women at the high end of normal.  Slightly overweight seniors at the high end of the healthy body mass index range  of 27 to 29  were at lower risk.

In other words,  it’s healthier for elderly folks to be slightly overweight than it is to be underweight.


That welcome news for me, because there’s no way I’m ever going to have a 25 inch waist again.  And now, I have a perfect excuse to relax and enjoy the delicious things in life.

Ladies, there’s no reason to suck in your tummy when you put on your bathing suit this spring.  You just  might live longer than those skinny seniors.



Body mass index, or BMI, is a number based on your weight and height.   In general, the higher the number, the more body fat a person has. BMI is often used as a screening tool to determine if you have a healthy weight.

BMI  defines different weight groups as follows:

  • Underweight: BMI is less than 18.5
  • Normal weight: BMI is 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: BMI is 25 to 29.9
  • Obese: BMI is 30 or more

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