No matter your politics (and I do not wish to discuss mine here – ever!), I think most Americans can agree that someone who is overweight (one pound shy of obese) and who indulges in unhealthy eating and fitness practices is NOT the picture of “excellent health” no matter what side of the aisle you sit on.
Unfortunately, politics is politics, and that explains why Trump is being lauded for his “good health,” as proclaimed by White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson in a press conference earlier this week. Dr. Jackson proclaims, “The President’s health is excellent.”
Excuse me? Let me clean my ears and hear what you said more clearly… “excellent health?!?”
The good doctor puts Trump at a whopping 239 pounds and 6-foot-3 tall. If you do the math, this puts President Trump just under the technical definition of “obese” when you consult the body mass index, or BMI, as your guide.
Late Show host Stephen Colbert had a field day with the idea that the President’s weight is just one pound shy of “obese,” suggesting that it’s “awfully convenient.” You be the judge.
On top of it all, prior physicals put President Trump at 6-foot-2. Did our president conveniently grow an inch between doctor’s visits? Or was his height conveniently changed as well – you be the judge.
Beyond BMI, abdominal fat, researchers say, is the key predictor of heart disease, diabetes and premature death. If Dr. Jackson was worth his weight in gold (excuse the pun), he would share with us President Trump’s waist-to-hip ratio. The chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke increases steadily as a man’s waist-to-hip ratio rises above 0.95; for women, the risk begins to rise above 0.85. (Read more about how to measure your waist-to-hip ratio here.)
So why is our President in such poor condition?
Let’s shed some light on Trump’s unhealthy lifestyle.
Diet Coke Addiction:
In December 2017, White House insiders told the New York Times that Trump enjoys a dozen Diet Cokes everyday. Diet Coke is made from artificial chemically-derived sweeteners (the health effects of artificial sweeteners is widely debated and too much to write about in this article; but you can be the judge on whether or not this is a healthy practice).
Recent studies have shown that artificial sugar is linked to weight gain, not weight loss, likely because artificial sweeteners are so intensely sweet that they only make you crave more sugar. Research suggests that people who regularly consume drinks made with artificial sweeteners (even just one per day) had a higher risk for serious health issues such as weight gain, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
On top of these serious health concerns, Diet Coke can make you jittery because it contains 42 mg of caffeine per can. The President gets 4-5 hours of sleep each night (and sometimes he says he takes Ambien). A good place to look to understand the root cause of such sleep issues is this excessive caffeine consumption.
Sleep and Stress:
OK, no doubt the President’s job is a stressful one. No matter if you love of hate him, the weight of the world is on his shoulders.
Unfortunately, the President says he only gets 4-5 hours of sleep per night. This is not acceptable, nor the vision of someone with healthy habits.
Arianna Huffington, a sleep advocate and expert, told Oprah, “The data show that if you’ve been up for 17 to 19 hours… you have the cognitive impairment equivalent of a 0.05 percent blood alcohol level.” Experts recommend eight hours of shut eye for optimal health.
Stress and poor sleep have been linked to weight gain, too. The stress hormone cortisone increases when you’re sleep deprived, and this hormone increases your appetite and can lead to weight gain.
Fast Food Hankering:
Not only does lack of sleep present weight issues for the President, but so does his poor eating habits.
President Trump is reported by many to have a hankering for McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and other fast food. According to two former Trump aids, the President will consume two Big Macs, two Fillet-O-Fish and a chocolate malted beverage in one sitting. I bet President Trump thinks ketchup is a vegetable, too.
Dr. Jackson says the President would “benefit from a diet lower in fat and carbohydrates and from a routine exercise regimen.”
Dr. Jackson says the President doesn’t have an exercise regimen – and says the President can benefit from one.
The Bottom Line:
Drinking 12 Diet Cokes per day, poor sleep habits, no exercise and a mad hankering for fast food DOES NOT fit the picture of a person in excellent health. And while the silver lining is President Trump doesn’t smoke (unlike his predecessor, former President Obama), President Trump is far less healthy than any president in my lifetime.
But worse yet is Dr. Jackson’s false proclamations that President Trump is in “excellent health.” These words are impactful, especially because they come from a physician whose job is to protect our health.
With all due respect, Dr. Jackson, eating fast food and drinking 12 Diet Cokes a day is not the picture of excellent health – or even good or fair health. Your job is to tell the President – and the American people – the truth.
You just lost all credibility…