Chris Christie says he’s “the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen in your life.”

By now, most have seen a clip of current GOP Governor of New Jersey, and possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate, Chris Christie’s recent visit on the Letterman Show (if not, you can watch it at the bottom of this post).

After a few moments of talking to Dave, Christie reaches into his pocket, grabs a jelly donut, takes a bite and says: “I didn’t know this was going to be this long.”  Everyone laughs.  More power to the guy that he can publicly joke about his weight problem.

Christie then goes on to tell Letterman: “I’m like basically the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen in your life.”  Though the comment is misleading.  No fat guy is healthy.  Christie might be healthier than most morbidly obese people, that’s possible.  But being the best of the worst does not mean you’re “healthy,” which is what Christie seems to be suggesting.  (One could be the healthiest terminally-ill patient in the hospice, too.)

For anyone who has struggled with their weight – myself included – it can be a sensitive subject. After growing up being a skinny kid (I was 6′ and 135 pounds when I graduated from high school), I plowed on the weight in the working world. Desk jobs, stress, long hours and travel for work didn’t help, nor did a lack of exercise. I also like to cook and eat, which doesn’t make it any easier.

Christ Christie on Letterman

Christ Christie on Letterman, making a joke about his obesity by eating a donut.

For me I had my own wakeup call when my close friend and former roommate died at his desk first thing in the morning. Niko was doing his daily call with work when he suffered a massive heart attack, leaving behind a wife and two kids under 5 years old. He was only 42 years old and by the time the ambulance was there in 15 minutes it was all over. Niko had a build very much like Chris Christie, though perhaps a bit smaller.

The entire event scared the hell out of me, and made me start thinking more about my own weight problem and my overall state of health. Thanks to my friend Hank (he’s now 73 years old), I started cycling on a regular basis, and I feel a million times better, though I still have work to do. Nobody has to tell Christie that he needs to address his weight issue, and I have no doubt he already feels uncomfortable about the problem, as do most of us who struggle with weight.

For all of Christie’s public fury aimed at the Republican doctor who recently said he needed to lose weight, Christie is the one who is wrong on all counts. From ABC:

Dr. Connie Mariano, who was President Clinton’s doctor in the White House, went on CNN and said, “I’m worried about this man dying in office” after Christie confronted his own weight issue head-on at a press conference Tuesday.

“I find it fascinating that a doctor in Arizona who has never met me, never examined me, never reviewed my medical history or records, knows nothing about my family history, could make a diagnosis from 2400 miles away,” the traditionally tough-talking governor said. “She must be a genius. She should probably be the surgeon general of the United States, I suspect, because she must be a genius.”

Christie, who has not ruled out a 2016 presidential bid, also said his children watched the CNN segment, and his 12-year-old son asked him, “Dad, are you going to die?”

NOTE FROM (JOHN: If my father were as obese as Chris Christie, I’d be worried about him dying as well. It’s Christie’s fault, not the doctor’s, or CNN’s, that his children are afraid he’s going to die.  Because he just may.)

Being that overweight is not healthy, despite Christie’s claims. If he’d like to see an independent doctor and publicize the full results of the test, is there any doubt what the doctor would say? As much as Christie doesn’t want to hear about it, being as overweight as he is is not good for your health.

Let me walk you through just how obese Chris Christie is.  From Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post:

The NIH estimates that nearly 34 percent of U.S. adults can be classified as “obese,” meaning they have a body mass index of more than 30. By this standard, a man who stands 5-foot-11 — Christie’s reported height — would be obese if his weight reached 215 pounds.

Robinson estimates that Christie’s weight is more than 286 pounds, because apparently Christie won’t say what he weighs.

While Christie does not disclose his weight, it appears to exceed the 286 pounds that would place him among the 5.7 percent of American adults whom NIH classifies as “extremely obese.”

Some estimates put his weight even higher.  (You can calculate your BMI here.)  At 286 pounds, Christie’s BMI would be around 40.  But people think he weighs more than 286. In any case, according to WebMD:

A person with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be at a healthy weight. A person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered to be overweight. A BMI over 30 is considered obese. A BMI of 40 or above indicates that a person is morbidly obese. This can increases a person’s risk of death from any cause by 50% to 150%.

Christie wants to criticize the GOP doctor (who was Bill Clinton’s doctor, by the way) for her “remote diagnosis,” but he somehow ignores his own responsibility in this process. He’s a public figure, so above and beyond his own family, does he honestly think that he’s setting a good example by claiming that morbid obesity does not pose grave risks to your health? The guy has enough money to be able to afford proper healthcare and exercise and diet, but so far, he’s been unable to address the problem. It’s tough, I know it’s tough — but so is dying early, especially if you die while you’re President of the United States.

Even worse, he’s now lashing out and showing his worst possible personality trait, one that people already dislike. Salon makes a great point about this problem. His weight is an issue, but his temperament is a bigger problem.

“If he can overcome this disease, he deserves the White House,” she told the Newark Star-Ledger. “He’s a tough SOB. And all of us really like him because he’s refreshingly honest. He’s no BS-er. … I want him to lose weight so he can win the office.”

So how did Christie respond? Did he ask her for some advice, or at least thank her (even if he privately resented her kibbitzing)?

No, he called her a “hack” who knows nothing about his health. ““This is just another hack who wants five minutes on TV,” he fumed, adding “She should shut up.” The tirade went on a minute and a half.

That’s why he’ll never be President Christie, whether he loses or gains 100 pounds. The funny, shoot-from-the-lip Christie is one thing: the angry abusive Christie is quite another. I can understand Christie privately resenting Mariano’s public advice; he said his kids were concerned about it. But national public figures have to get used to much rougher treatment than their kids seeing someone who says she’s a fan expressing concern about his health.

Do voters want to take the risk and vote for a presidential candidate who looks like he could have a heart attack on any given day? It’s going to be a concern in any campaign. I don’t believe for a minute that Christie is healthy.  And while many Americans can sympathize with his situation and understand, voting for him to run the toughest job in the country is another issue. If Christie is this stressed as governor of New Jersey, how would being president impact his stress levels and weight? Look at Obama’s quickly-graying hair, and he’s about as healthy looking as anyone we’ve seen in the White House.

When you’re running for president, looking healthy probably means a lot more than what the doctors say anyway. Politics aside, does anyone honestly think Chris Christie looks healthy? Ultimately, whatever he or doctors from thousands of miles away say, voters will ultimately make that call.

What may complicate the matter even more for Christie is the GOP obsession with extremist running mates such as Cheney, Palin and Ryan. Voters may accept a fault with a candidate, but the weight problem, plus his bad character, plus yet another unqualified extremist running mate, is perhaps more than anyone can handle. How many risks would voters really want to take?

It’s irrelevant for me whether Chris Christie addresses his weight issue or not because I would never vote for him, let alone really care about his success in the future. But for the sake of the guy’s family, he really needs to get serious.  His morbid obesity is not a joking matter.  And while we should have all the understanding in the world for how difficult it can be for some people to control their weight, we should never permit a public figure to suggest that morbid obesity is not a serious health risk.

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An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • maodeedee

    Physically he may be just fine.

    But anyone which calls himself a member of the loyal opposition party yet has no loyalty to that party itself and kisses Obama’s hiney and stabs his fellow Republicans in the back at every opportunity is someone who is fundamentally dishonest and has something seriously wrong with his character.

    He is a disgusting and loathsome POS.

  • brutus

    Christie is a liberal republican or a conservative democrat. He is not a conservative, so just forget about trying to portray him as a “right-wing nut.”
    When we go to visit my father-in-law at his assisted living facility, I always notice that none of the residents (who are mostly 75+) are fat. Some of the staff are, but not the residents. This may be because obese people don’t get old.
    If you want to get the fat out of your body, get the fat out of your food.

  • shame on you

    A few primers for anyone actually interested in not being bigoted:
    http://kateharding.net/faq/but-dont-you-realize-fat-is-unhealthy/

    Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata

    Losing It by Laura Fraser

    The Diet Myth by Paul Campos

    Big Fat Lies by Glenn A. Gaesser

    http://www.bigfatblog.com/ancel-keys-starvation-study-discussed-psychology-today

    http://worthyourweight.wordpress.com/touchstones/

  • shame on you

    You need to research the size/fat acceptance movement, set point theory, and how diets cause weight gain. Essentially fat people are a natural variation, but they are one of the last acceptable groups to discriminate against. It’s a shame to see it out in full force at a so-called progressive blog.

    And humans aren’t Bunsen burners. Calories in/calories out has been debunked. See the research on the “thrifty gene.”

    Fat is a choice as much as gay is a choice or poor is a choice. Gah, such ignorance.

  • emjayay

    Also space between vertebrae tends to lessen and muscles atrophy. And previous generations were often generally shorter because of certain nutritional lacks, which is by far the thing most responsible for variations in average height of populations.

  • emjayay

    Or close to it.

  • emjayay

    Yeah, there do seem to be people who don’t believe in calories. Right here. However, I still don’t know what right things Christie does. Not enough of them obviously. Maybe yelling and attacking does burn a few extra calories. Chewing on the other hand does not count as an exercise program.

  • emjayay

    Please see comment above.

  • emjayay

    Sorry, just trying to lighten things up among all the facts and figures. Now, what about all the facts and figures?

  • wfu76

    I’m guessing he goes 400.

  • wfu76

    You know how we call elderly people “little old men” and “little old women?” There’s a reason. How many big old men do you see around? How many huge ones? You don’t get to be old being that big.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    There are people who don’t believe in calories?

    Right, losing weight is a combination of three things: Genetics, diet, exercise. Exercise alone isn’t the solution, but it matters. My point though was that Christie thinks he’s healthy because he surely does some of the right things, but he’s ignoring the predictive effect that your weight has on your long-term outlook.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg Moderator4

    There is no need to post virtually identical comments under two usernames (and emails), “Sookari,” “Guest.” Once is enough for each comment you make, and please try to settle upon one username.

  • emjayay

    Unemployment insurance in the US does not pay enough. I too have gone through periods when I had to live on savings or, not having any, credit cards. Or worse. But that is not relevant to a discussion of the reasons for obesity. I was attempting to debate, using actual facts about cost of food and science and research about metabolism and overweight etc., what I see as largely unsupported-by-facts reasons for obesity that are commonly heard or written about, including on this blog.
    And pertinent to the original post, Christie is a big fat defensive morbidly obese jerk. His reactions to all this just make that clear.

  • Sookari

    If you’re trying to act intellectual, you’re falling short of your goal. Quit using slang like “guvmint “. At least I assume it is slang. It’s spelled Government and it’s only 3 more letters.

  • Guest

    Sarcasm is not meant to be a substitute for anything. Are you daft? If you’re trying to act intellectual, you’re falling short of your goal. Quit using slang like “guvmint “. It’s Government and it’s only 3 more letters.

  • Guest

    Sarcasm is not meant to be a substitute for anything. Are you daft? I receive 187.00 a week unemployment after child support is taken out and I pay income tax on it too. So yes, I can’t afford anything.

  • emjayay

    Nah, he’d still be about 100 pounds over.

  • emjayay

    Well over 300 at least.

  • emjayay

    I don’t know if there’s any evidence that Christie exercises some. Didn’t he take a state heliocopter to his son’s baseball game and then get driven the last bit? Maybe I’m disremembering. Anyway (apologises to those who don’t believe in calories, the scientific measure of the energy content of food) walking up the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty uses maybe 75 calories. Exercise is important for a lot of reasons but unfortunately it doesn’t burn as many calories (sorry again) as it feels like! Riding a bike 50 miles a day is effective. It also takes the whole day to do it.

  • emjayay

    Once again, my figures for SNAP are accurate and the prices for various representative food items from markets in New York City (of all places) are also correct. As are the kinds of food for example I happen to buy and the amount of money I spend on food.
    The maximum SNAP award works out to about $7.00 a day. If you get less, it’s because the guvmint calculations indicate you can afford to make up the rest. Once again, the $30 a week amount used in the referenced article is an AVERAGE award, not the maximum. It’s supposed to help you out, not pay for all of your food unless you can’t afford anything. Your SNAP award is expected to be added to unless you are getting the max. And I have gotten food stamps in the past, by the way.

    Sarcasm is not a subsitute for facts and logic.

  • http://twitter.com/JakeOrlando Jake Orlando

    So many things to say about the fat Chris Christie thing. On the one hand, I’m embarrassed that my fellow liberals are making it a “thing”. The people who champion anti-bullying, celebrating differences, are pretending like they care so much about Christie’s health. They don’t.

    On the other hand, for most people, obesity is a choice. It’s a conscious decision to eat more than you’re willing to burn. It’s a terrible choice, and a choice that has become an epidemic in this country. Talking about “healthy fat guys” is setting an awful example.

  • http://konstanze1.livejournal.com/ Kath

    Then don’t vote for him. His weight is his business. I might just add that for a liberal, voting for Chris Christie would be stupid in any case, and has nothing to do with his weight. Don’t be fooled by how “reasonable” he appears on tv.

  • Sookari

    You have no idea what you are talking about. After I was laid off and before I was getting SNAP I was eating on 3 dollars a day. I could afford to live on eggs, rice and cheap loaves of white bread. My weight rose a lot during my starchfest. I now eat like a king by adding my SNAP allowance of 4.64 a day to my total daily budget! Yes that’s sarcasm.

  • cole3244

    i am concerned that if christie is nominated in 2016 he may be able to defeat the dem opponent by eating whoever that may be, maybe he will not be nominated and america will be saved.

  • ole olafson

    No matter what, Christie’s weight is a consideration for discussion by people because he’s in office. He isn’t some guy running a company. If he wants to be President, he has to lose about 150#’s. I personally see illness on his face. He won’t last as long as he should because of it and he’s deluding himself otherwise.

  • dula

    As a fellow Republican, I’m worried that Christie would never be able to pull himself up by his bootstraps.

  • emjayay

    Please include references to the research you are basing that on.

  • emjayay

    The average weekly stipend is not the total the program figures you have to spend on food. It’s a supplement. What you get is figured on income and rent. The highest stipend is $200 a month for one person. That’s $46.15 a week. I spend less than $200 a month for food month after month in New York City, and that includes unlimited amounts of frozen blueberries etc.

  • Ninong

    I don’t know how they came up with 286 lbs as a guess for Chris Christie’s weight. It looks to me like he’s at least 400 lbs.

  • emjayay

    The research I’ve read indicates that thin people who claim they eat all the time and fat people who say they eat normally are simply deluding themselves. That’s why weight loss programs often require a food diary. Some kinds of diets seem to aid faster weight loss for the amount of calories eaten, at least for a while. But eventually everyone gets to about the same place if they are eating the same amount of calories (with the same amount of exercise) whatever they are composed of.

    Different people no doubt tend to store fat more or have metabolisms that burn more calories etc., but the differences as far as I know aren’t radical. Research has also shown that people who burn more calories turn out to be more physically active and those who claim a slower metabolism are actually less active day to day and minute to minute, even if they aren’t aware of it. And higher physical activity may raise your metabolism in periods when you aren’t exercising as well.

    In some extreme cases a few people are because of some genetic reason or disease are simply way extra hungry. If genes for most people make much difference, it’s in how hungry they are or how they perceive hunger. And of course there’s a huge multifactor training or conditioning aspect.

    Anyway, it’s ultimately pretty much calories in vs. calories out.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I didn’t say ‘high calorie food.’ What I said was fatty, starchy foods. The kinds that are more easily converted into fat than healthier foods. And it turns out that diet soda is really not a healthy drink at all, and has been linked to weight gain as well.

    And funny you should mention SNAP. A great many people have tried to eat healthy on the SNAP allowance and failed. Here’s a source: http://dcist.com/2012/10/food_stamp_challenge.php

  • nicho

    Weight is ultimately almost entirely calories in vs. calories out.

    Recent research has shown that this is decidedly not true, but it’s a great way to demonize overweight people.

  • emjayay

    I believe that almost all metabolic reasons people blame obesity on are nonsense. Low thyroid? A generic pill that costs a few dollars a month without insurance will fix it. Diabetes? More a cause than an effect. Genetic disposition? How many tubby people were liberated from concentrations camps in WWII? (Sorry about that one). Weight is ultimately almost entirely calories in vs. calories out.

    Poor people can only afford high calorie food? Nonsense. Potato chips are about 100 times more expensive than potatoes. Skinless boneless chicken is available in stores all over even New York City for about $3.50 a pound and on sale in some supermarket chain at any given time for $1.99 or less. Bananas and carrots are .69 a pound all over the place. You can drink water for nothing or diet soda for $1-$1.50 for 2 litres instead of the corn syrup kind. Can of baked beans or a can of tuna – about a dollar. Eggs, around $2.00 a dozen or less. Brocolli, $2.00 a bunch. It’s not about cost. Anyone with a stove and refrigerator and a brain can eat low calorie, low cost, high nutrition food. SNAP (food stamps) allowance is enough.
    Christie of course is well over 300 pounds simply because he eats enough for two people.

  • BigGuy

    He has at least a “56 waist. I’m fatter still and suffering many of the perils of the morbidly obese. He’s destined to start getting lots of problems from his weight that he’s not yet suffering. Going up the ONE step from the stage to the stage set increased his breathing and reddened his face.

    He has normal blood sugar and normal cholesterol. He is a lucky man. He is not a healthy man.

    Some morbidly obese people are from extended families of morbidly obese people who live long lives. Very little medical research has been done to discover how it is that some very fat people end up living very long lives.

  • JozefAL

    “I find it fascinating that a doctor in Arizona who has never met me, never examined me, never reviewed my medical history or records, knows nothing about my family history, could make a diagnosis from 2400 miles away,” the traditionally tough-talking governor said. “She must be a genius. She should probably be the surgeon general of the United States, I suspect, because she must be a genius.”
    I wonder: Has Christie ever condemned FoxNoise’s favorite “house doctor,” Keith Ablow? Ablow, a man who’s ALWAYS diagnosing people’s “problems” without any examinations or reviewing medical history or even knowing anything about the person or their family history, yet he gets hours of airtime on FoxNoise to do exactly what Christie’s condemning this doctor in Arizona for doing. I suppose it’s no big deal as long as YOU aren’t the subject of a long-distance diagnosis.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I do think the food supply is part of the issue. Somehow, magically, I lose 7 to 10 pounds every August I go to house sit for Chris in Paris. I spend maybe 6 weeks there. And I eat. And I lose a minimum of 5-7 pounds, this year a whopping 10 pounds (and then usually put it on back here). I have no idea why. I don’t walk THAT much, I’m home blogging most of the day. But somehow it’s gone. I think the food is quite literally different. Because I still buy desserts (oh the desserts they have in the grocery store there, OMG). It’s very strange.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I gotta disagree. The President’s health is my business if I’m considering voting for him and he picks a lousy vp.

  • confusion

    Leave that fat bastard aaalooooooooone……

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep……The amount of exercise needed to burn calories at that level takes over a normal life and combined with co-factors such as A-fib and hormonal disruption brings a life to the breaking point.

  • Indigo

    Oh, get over it! Somebody else’s weight is none of your damn business. So he dies in office. So what? It’s happened before. That’s why we also elect of Vice-President.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Maybe he intuits that leaving this planet a little early is a good thing.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    More like a wolverine in Pooh Bear clothing.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    That makes two of us.

  • nicho

    There are a lot of things going on — and they’re actually doing a lot of research on it. Some people just process food differently. I know people who eat more than I do and exercise less — and are thinner than I am.

    Once someone gets to be 300 pounds, a couple of things happen. First, they need to take in a lot of calories just to maintain that weight. When they don’t take in enough, their body starts demanding it. They get “hungry.” They’re “starving.” Also, there’s just an attitude of “I’m fat. Fuck it. I might as well eat.”

    A few years ago, I was shopping with a friend. There were pants on sale, but none his size — they were all too small for him. Finally, he said “Shit, there’s nothing here that will fit me. Let’s go get some ice cream.” He didn’t realize what he had said until he said it. Then, we both stood in the store laughing like idiots.

    Also, there is “automatic eating.” Weight Watchers actually addresses this issue. People eat without even realizing they’re doing it. They’ll pass by a plate of cookies in the office and take one every 10 minutes of so — and don’t realize they’ve even done it. If you were to ask them the next day what they had eaten the previous day, they would claim they had eaten very little.

    Then, there are psychological factors — some of them deep-seated — at work. Food — like cigarettes, alcohol, shopping, gambling — makes you feel better about whatever it is that’s bothering you, even though in the long run, it’s making you feel worse.

    Couple that with the “bias toward the near” that we all suffer from. Do you want that donut today or do you want to pass it up and wear that snazzy new speedo eight months from now? A lot of people opt for the donut. (Unfortunately, too many people opt for the donut AND the speedo, but that’s a different matter.)

    Also, the food supply in the US at least is fucked up. Everything is loaded with sugar — both overtly and covertly. Go to the grocery. Try to find a salad dressing that doesn’t have sugar in it. Just try. I’ve looked and only have found one. Others have artificial sweeteners, but that’s quite possibly worse for you than sugar — they’re just finding out.

    Also, portion size is out of control. I often will just go to a restaurant order two appetizers. The “16 Oz. Sizzling Sirloin” is actually about five times what you should be eating at one sitting. Then add the giant baked potato — with butter and sour cream — the salad with the sugar-laden salad dressing, the six-layer cake for desert — and a couple of drinks. Recipe for disaster, especially if you’ve been to Costco earlier in the day and “snacked” on their pizza slice which contains a half a day’s calories and three days’ worth of fat.

    I could go on, but you get the point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Thompson/1446153418 Ron Thompson

    Look-ism is as American as cherry pie. Since Nixon, none of our Presidents would have looked out of place in an ad for Cialis. Whether or not it’s a good idea, the President is a role-model, and I can’t believe anyone 50 lbs. overweight could be elected. Christie would have to lose 50 lbs. to be 50 lbs. overweight.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Right, I think that’s true too. Obama elected at, what 45 or 46, gets out at 53 – there’s a difference between 45 and 53, especially if you don’t color your hair.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Right. Like I said above, relatively healthy compared to a pool of people who likely won’t live as long as the rest of us.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’m curious about something. I hear people talk about how hard it is for some people to lose weight, and how some obese people truly can’t help it, their bodies are just messed up, or whatever. I’ve never had a weight problem, I put on ten extra pounds and if I’m careful I can take it off, though it does get harder with age, so I don’t understand obesity. What I’m trying to understand is, when someone weighs 300 pounds and looks like Christie, are they eating “normal” meals, a normal amount of calories at each meal, etc and for some reason they just put on that much weight and/or it won’t come off? Even with exercise?

  • SkippyFlipjack

    especially if you’re still on meds.. makes it doubly hard to take off weight

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I don’t know, Clinton left office looking a lot older than when he entered — but part of that is due to the fact that we age a lot during the 8 years that people tend to be president. If someone were elected at 35 they’d probably come out looking pretty similar (unless they banged an intern and spent years being torn apart by a mob of hypocritical GOPers about it..)

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Christie isn’t your typical science-hating Republican, but he’s being one in this case — ignoring statistics and research because he doesn’t like their conclusions. If you smoke, you increase your risk of several cancers. That’s a fact. I think many smokers think “Oh, I’m not one of those 3-pack-a-day, chronic-wet-hacking-cough kind of smokers,” but the data doesn’t make that kind of differentiation. If you smoke, you’re at a higher risk of cancer. In the same way, Christie feels healthy — he exercises some, he probably eats pretty well (unprocessed food, fresh ingredients), he’s energetic. He’s also extremely overweight and has a stressful life, so the numbers say he’s going to die younger than he might otherwise. It’s just a fact, regardless of how he feels

    Christie should take a walk through a nursing home and see how many 300-pound octogenarians shake his hand.

  • nicho

    And Hillary will be 69. What’s your point?

  • nicho

    Let’s flip the equation. Being thin doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy or that you’re not going to drop dead at a young age. I had three friends — thin, in shape, and runners — who dropped dead in their 30s. But then, marathon runners die younger than the general population.

    And carrying few extra pounds doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unhealthy — as long as you maintain an otherwise healthy lifestyle — proper diet, exercise, freedom from stress, etc.

    However, there is a point at which “a few extra pounds” becomes unhealthy — especially because it indicates poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and other bad habits that seriously impact health. Just from looking at him, Christie has probably passed that point. He’s not that big because he’s eating too much steamed fish and lightly sauteed broccoli.

    As a recovering overweight person myself, I battle the same thing on a daily basis — but I eat a moderate diet and exercise on a daily basis. All my lab results are good. Also, I have good genes, which is a huge factor. Most of my relatives have lived into their late 80s or 90s.

    Running for president is grueling — like running a marathon every day. Being president is worse. Look at how much Obama has aged in four years — and he seems to be a pretty healthy guy. That’s from a lot of physical and stressful demands.

    Yes, William Taft was obese, but those were different times. The pressures of the presidency were much, much less than they are today.

    It’s not a moral question, as far as I’m concerned — but there are, and should be, serious concerns about his ability to keep up the grueling task of being president. I’d shudder to think of him playing “Reagan” and sleeping off his lunch, while the underlings get us involved in all sorts of intrigues. There are also serious concerns about his making it through a first term, and I don’t think those are unjustified.

    Apart from all that — and something that should concern the party — is the question of image. Like it or not, the race for president is an image-driven thing. And people don’t look as kindly today on someone as overweight as Christie as they once did. His size has nothing to do with his ability to lead, but that’s not what a lot of people vote on. Heck, even Honey Boo Boo’s mother just lost 100 pounds.

  • Naja pallida

    Well, at least we can agree, he’s rabid.

    I think Dubya was probably the President with the most obviously visible physical change in his time in office. He went in with an arrogant smirk and swagger, and slinked off looking like Gollum on a bender. Maybe that’s just how I was perceiving him. :)

  • HereinDC

    My friend ( age 50 ) may not be as big as Christie…..but he too has a very good cholesterol and 120/80 blood pressure. He skis, bikes etc….

    So I have to agree ( in part ) with Chrities that he’s the healthiest fat person.
    In part.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I don’t want to jump on the “he’s too fat” bandwagon because I’ve seen far too many similar discussions devolve into accusations of moral failure or personality flaws on the part of the obese person. “Oh, if they just didn’t eat so much!”

    I’ve known a number of overweight folks during my last 50 years on this planet, and it’s almost never that simple. Diabetes, thyroid problems, metabolic anomalies, medicine side-effects, genetic predisposition… heck, I even remember reading a study a few years ago that showed one of the main reasons so many poor Americans are overweight is because starchy, fatty foods are all they can afford. We also exist in an in an increasingly sedentary, stressful lifestyle, and guess what the human body’s natural reaction is to stress? “OMG, store up fat, something bad may happen soon.”

    Hell, just getting older is one of the reasons. (She says as she looks down and realizes she’ll probably never again be the 107 lbs she was in her early 30s, two decades ago…)

    While I do feel that Chris Christie’s overall health is a legitimate concern — especially given how it’s obvious that the office of the president of the U.S. is extremely stressful and has visibly aged every man to sit in the Oval Office in modern times (yes, even Dubya, Cthulhu bless his shriveled little heart) — I take more issue with his temperament and his right-wing anti-populist positions.

    Yes, during the Superstorm Sandy crisis, he turned on the charm and behaved like a genuinely classy guy. Of course, some of this may have been his recognition of the reality that Mitt Romney was not going to win, coupled with the desire not to completely fuck over the residents of New Jersey. My opinion, but I do think he saw the disaster and wanted to do his job.

    But at other times, he’s not wanted to do his job at all. And he can be incredibly petty and partisan — witness his opposition to the much-needed NY/NJ commuter tunnel for which NJ was only on the hook for a fraction of the construction costs. Plus there are plenty stories about how he has the temper of a rabid howler monkey. We don’t need an impulsive monster-shouter in the White House.

    Like I said, I give him credit for classy behavior during and shortly after Sandy. But I don’t think he’s cut out for the presidency.

  • nicho

    Yeah — Christie is just a bundle of muscles. Can’t you tell?

  • Naja pallida

    To be honest, for the voting public, Christie’s weight is probably the least of his problems. His consistent stance against the workers of New Jersey, combined with the random personality of a rabid raccoon, will instantly turn at least half of the country against him. His Hurricane nice-guy routine will only get him so much sympathy, and already offended most of the far right-wing of his party. So really… by any measure, that knocks him out of the running right there.

  • Naja pallida

    Biden will be 75 by the time he would take office. I really just don’t see it happening.

  • Naja pallida

    That’s really why straight weight vs height, and especially BMI, are rather inaccurate numbers to go by. They’re just vague indicators, a way of trying to quantify something which essentially defies such guesstimating analysis. Everyone is different, and people on either end of the spectrum (athletes and the extremely obese) completely break the system. Just another reason why it is important to have preventative care as part of one’s health care. So you can get an opinion beyond the “Oh, well, I feel fine.” and actually have an objective analysis about one’s weight, body fat, and overall health comparative to that.

  • hollywoodstein

    At his largest Chris Christie is well over 300 hundred pounds. I suppose he is counting on the obese American vote, you know real Merkans scoring for one of their own, not those skinny latte, bikram yoga types.
    Let’s see how the grind of campaign trail travel suits him. And if part of his strategy is to lose some weight, the dieting will just add to his bitchiness on the trail. The tough guy F you NJ shore talk plays well to a point, when you’re a gov, but there is a different standard for Prez, which is why you see the photo ops of smiling candidates out jogging their detail. Americans don’t want a fatty who might stroke out over his next donut representing them to the world even if they are obese themselves. He might play as a court jester Rubio sidekick if they don’t have to have a foamy Santorum type on the ticket as a sop to the fundies.
    He shoulda built the tunnel.

  • iamlegion

    215 on a 5-11 frame is “obese”? I bet a lot of gym rats and semi-pro athletes would disagree… not that anyone would ever mistake Christie for a gym rat…

  • GoBlue

    Why I fervently hope Joe Biden won’t run in 2016: not only will he be an unnecessary obstacle in Hillary’s path, he’ll be over 70 and he’s survived two aneurysms. A Christie-Biden race could mean both candidates dropping dead before election day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elijah.shalis Elijah Shalis

    I have gained a lot of weight in the past two year due to meds. I am 287lbs right now. I can tell you that I don’t look anywhere as big as Christie. In order to work it off I would have to workout 3 hours a day like I did in high school. That is not fun let me tell you.

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