Curvy and Voluptuous
by Blake Linton Wilfong -- The Wondersmith!

You should be convinced now that high body weights are seriously bad news. Now for some good news: Not one Playboy Playmate with published weight and height statistics has a Body Mass Index above the NIH-specified maximum--or anywhere near it. Even the most Rubenesque of them, Rebecca Scott (August 1999), sports a BMI of only 21.3.

Three more have BMIs in the twenties. Karen Elaine Price (January 1981) maintains a BMI of 20.5 with the help of a physically demanding career as a gymnast and gymnastics instructor. Patricia Farinelli (December 1981) has a healthy BMI of 20.4. Finally, there is Amanda Hope (July 1992) whose fitness training as a specialist in the U.S. Army and penchant for eating dessert before meals both help her maintain a BMI of just 20.1. (Eating sugar causes satiety--as in "Those sweets will ruin your appetite!"--so having dessert first helps reduce overall food consumption.)

Though I have given a couple of examples, I will not continue describing the means by which these women maintain their body weights. Suffice it to say that most of them lead active lifestyles. Many are also actresses or models aside from their appearances in Playboy--women whose careers demand that they avoid gaining weight. My goal is to point out Playboy Magazine's admirable promotion of slender women as role models and ideal mates, not the details of the means or motivations that enable them to remain slender. If you are inclined to learn about such details, I encourage you to consult the text accompanying the pictorials in Playboy Magazine. Read it for the articles!

BMIs between 20 and 22 are good, but BMIs between 19 and 20 are probably even better. The "Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2000" warns that "Even within the healthy BMI range, weight gains can carry health risks for adults." Studies suggest that the federal government's recommendations are not sufficiently aggressive: BMIs over 22 increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diease; comparisons of women's and men's mortality rates suggest that the ideal BMI range for women is a couple of points lower than that for men; a study of more than 320,000 men and women, printed in the January 1, 1998 New England Journal of Medicine, found the ideal BMI range to top out at 22; and the American Institute of Nutrition's Steering Committee on Healthy Weight has concluded that the lowest health risks accompany BMIs no higher than 23.

Many Playmates have BMIs of "nineteen-something":

19.8 Julie Pederson Feb 87
19.7 Victoria Silvstedt Dec 96, Jun 97
19.6 Debra Jo Fondren Sep 77, Jun 78
     Kalin Olson Aug 77
19.5 Gail Stanton Jun 78
     Anna Nicole Smith May 92, Jun 93
     Stephanie Heinrich Oct 01
19.4 Jacqueline Sheen Jul 90
     Brittany York Oct 90
     Tiffany Sloan Oct 92
     Samantha Dorman Sep 91
19.3 Sandra Joyce Cagle Feb 80
     Cathy Larmouth Jun 81
     Cher Butler Aug 85
     Rachel Jean Marteen Aug 95
     Holly Joan Hart Apr 98

19.2 Kristine Winder Oct 77
     Martha Thomsen May 80
     Ola Ray Jun 80
     Bonnie Marino Jun 90
     Simone Fleurice Eden Feb 89
     Miriam Gonzales Mar 01
19.1 Pamela Bryant Apr 78
     Nichole Van Croft Oct 00
19.0 Jolanda Egger Jun 83
     Roberta Vasquez Nov 84
     Kim Morris Mar 86
     Eloise Broady Apr 88
     Tina Bockrath May 90
     Saskia Linssen Jun 91
     Alesha Oreskovich Jun 93
     Jennifer Miriam Mar 97
     Karen McDougal Dec 97, Jul 98
     Maria Luisa Gil Jun 98

By printing pictorials of these Playmates along with their accompanying statistics, Playboy Magazine has made a compelling argument that women don't have to sacrifice a healthy body weight to be curvy and voluptuous. And if you want to see what such ladies look like, the list above should help you choose which Playboy back issues, newsstand specials, VHS videos, and DVDs to buy. All in the name of science, of course! :-)

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