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Politics

After gaining weight, President Trump is now considered obese

Trump in ‘overall’ good health despite adding pounds, his doctor says
President Trump presents fast food to be served to the Clemson Tigers football team to celebrate their national championship. He now weighs 243 pounds, up from 236 pounds in September 2016.
(Chris Kleponis / Sipa USA)

President Trump has put on some pounds and is now officially considered obese.

The White House on Thursday released results of his most recent physical, revealing that his body mass index is now 30.4. That’s based on the fact that he’s carrying 243 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame. That’s up from 236 pounds in September 2016 before he became president.

A BMI of 30 is the level at which doctors consider someone obese under this commonly used formula. About 40% of Americans are obese, and that raises their risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some forms of cancer.

Trump doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke, but he’s not a big fan of the gym either. His primary form of exercise is golf. And he says he gets plenty of walking in around the White House complex.

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As for his diet, Trump’s love of fast food remains. Last month, he invited the college football champion Clemson Tigers to the White House during the partial government shutdown. With the White House kitchen too understaffed to cater a meal, Trump stepped in: He ordered burgers, french fries and pizza.

Why you can’t look away from that Trump fast food photo »

Despite gaining 4 pounds since last year, the president’s physician Dr. Sean Conley said, the 72-year-old president “remains in very good health overall.”

His resting heart rate was 70 beats a minute, and his blood pressure reading was 118 over 80, well within the normal range.

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Conley said that routine lab tests were performed and that Trump’s liver, kidney and thyroid functions were all normal, as were his electrolytes and blood counts. An electrocardiogram, a test that measures electrical activity generated by the heart as it beats, remained unchanged from last year.

“Despite the fact that he’s obese, his blood pressure is normal,” said Dr. Mariell Jessup, the American Heart Assn.’s chief science and medical officer.

Using the association’s heart risk calculator, “he has a 17% chance of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years,” mostly because of his age and slightly elevated levels of bad cholesterol, she said.

Modern presidents have undergone regular exams to catch any potential problems but also to assure the public that they are fit for office. Trump went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last week for his second periodic physical, which lasted about four hours. During his exam, he received a flu shot and an inoculation to help prevent shingles, a viral infection that causes a painful rash.

“I performed and supervised the evaluation with a panel of 11 different board-certified specialists,” Conley wrote in a memorandum to the White House. “He did not undergo any procedures requiring sedation or anesthesia.”

Trump’s cholesterol reading improved since last year.

At his physical in January 2018, his total cholesterol was 223, which is higher than recommended, even though he was taking a low dose of the statin drug Crestor to help lower so-called bad cholesterol, or LDL, and fats. Last year, his doctor said he would increase that dose in an effort to get Trump’s LDL reading of 143 below 120.

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Now, Trump’s total cholesterol is down to 196, but his bad cholesterol is 122 — slightly elevated. Conley said he planned to increase the dosage of a statin drug to 40 milligrams a day to bring the president’s cholesterol reading down further.

Dr. Robert Eckel, a former American Heart Assn. president and cardiologist at the University of Colorado, said he would aim for an LDL below 100.

“Losing some weight would help modify some of the risk factors for heart disease,” Eckel said. “A 20- to 25-pound weight loss would be what I’d recommend if he were my patient. And that’s not a quick fix.”


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