"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Oldest Living Woman of the Modern Era

Jeanne Louise Calment (Feb 21, 1875 - August 4, 1997) lived to be the oldest person ever once those Methuselah- and Noah-types settled down, back in the days of Genesis. If you disdain math, Calment died at the age of 121. She survived surgery (for a broken femur) just shy of her 115th birthday. She wasn't particular about taking care of herself but some of her habits were quite interesting. She was a huge fan of olive oil (an Omega-9 oil) and chocolate, claiming to eat up to 2lbs per week of the latter. She also liked port wine, garlic and fresh vegetables. She occasionally smoked cigarettes and had her last one at age 117. She had a host of hobbies instead of entering the workforce (her husband handled that) and even took up fencing at age 85. She stopped riding her bicycle at age 100.

Calment had some excellent habits and it's likely the cigarettes would have done her in earlier apart from the counteracting effects of her lifestyle and food choices, genetics and God's soverignty notwithstanding. I don't advocate cigarette smoking but it would be interesting to see studies comparing smokers with bad habits versus smokers with Calment-type habits. This is not likely to happen. (And if a single-party payor system becomes the rule of the day the odds plunge further from there).

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