Donald Trump has a weight problem, a newly released report from the president’s doctor shows, but critics think that Trump may be lying to save himself the embarrassment of admitting that he is obese.
There was much attention this week on the results of Trump’s first-ever public physical, especially after there were open questions about his mental health and stability amid a series of statements and actions that critics saw as unhinged. While Trump reportedly scored perfect on a mental acuity assessment he insisted on including, the report did identify some areas of concern for the 71-year-old president — namely his weight.
According to Dr. Ronny Jackson, Trump weighs 239 pounds (108.4 kilograms), which means that at his reported height of 6-foot-3, Trump is exactly one pound below being classified as obese, Business Insider noted.
In a White House briefing to discuss the results of his physical, Dr. Jackson said he recommended that Donald Trump lose weight.
“I think the president — he and I talked — and he would like to lose over the next… I think a reasonable goal over the next year or so is to lose 10 to 15 pounds,” Jackson said. “We talked about diet and exercise a lot. He’s more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part, but we’re going to do both.”
Donald Trump’s health habits and diet have been under scrutiny since the early days of the campaign. Trump has bragged that he needs only three or four hours of sleep a night, and his diet is reportedly heavy on fast food and diet coke.
Trump’s age could make his near-obesity an even bigger concern. A 2013 study found that obese senior citizens (defined as people age 65 and older) are at a higher risk of early death than their younger counterparts. As the Huffington Post reported, the highest mortality risk was among those with the highest BMI, or body mass index. Trump’s BMI still falls outside the range of being obese, though only by a single pound.
There were some who doubted the veracity of Donald Trump’s reported weight, noting that Trump produced what appeared to be a fabricated doctor’s note during the 2016 campaign that described his health in typically Trumpian over-the-top praise. The fact that his weight fell exactly one pound or one inch shorter outside of being obese drew doubt from many people, who believe Trump may have had a hand in doctoring the doctor’s report. A report published in Slate suggested that the report may have been “massaged” by Trump to make him appear healthier.