Betty White turns 95 years young on January 17, and she’s still razor sharp, healthy, and enjoying life. What’s her secret? You might be surprised. It’s not a strict diet: She’s not a vegetarian, and her favorite foods are hot dogs and French fries. But she’s an optimist, and she still has no plans to retire.
Those two traits alone could count — at least in part — for White’s long life. A recent study of people over the age of 95 found that most of them were positive and upbeat about life. Another recent study conducted at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that people who worked longer, lived longer.
White has been working since 1945, staring on hit shows such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, and winning Emmy Awards for both. In recent years, she became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live, and until 2015, she stared in the sitcom Hot in Cleveland. Currently, she is a panelist on ABC’s To Tell the Truth — 30 years beyond qualifying for Medicare.
White once confided to Oprah that she doesn’t take her good health for granted. “I think it’s my gene pool,” she said. “I can give my mom and dad the thanks for that.”
White shares at least one quality with President Donald Trump. “I don’t need much sleep,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “If I get four good hours, then I’m fine. I’ve been that way all my life.
“I don’t eat anything special,” she said. “French fries. Hot dogs if I can get ’em. And I’m not a big breakfast eater. I’ll have a sandwich at lunch,” she told Harpers. When she gets home, she enjoys a vodka on the rocks, she said, and then dinner. “You can’t get much better.”
While her diet may not be ideal, a daily drink may have contributed to her longevity. Studies have found that moderate drinking — White’s daily drink is the recommended amount for women — lowers the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s, and reduces the risk of dying.
She also has a passion for animals. She works with the Los Angeles Zoo commission, the Morris Animal Foundation, and has been on the board of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association for many years.
“I have to keep acting so that I can afford to keep doing my charity work!” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “Half my life is working in a profession I love and the other half is working with animals.”
In rare quiet moments, she enjoys needlepoint and crossword puzzles, and invites friends over to play poker, according to Radaronline.com.
Her active lifestyle she says jokingly is due, in part, to her house. “I have a two-story house and a very bad memory,” she told People. “I am up and down those stairs all the time.
“There’s no spare time, so I’m active all the time,” she told People. “I think that forces you to stay well.” She never expected to be working in her 90s, she said. “I’m the luckiest broad on two feet.”