- Ronny Jackson, the official White House physician, has served Former President Barack President Donald Trump in the role.
- Like Trump, Obama also suffered from high cholesterol. Obama worked to lower his levels via diet and exercise, while Trump takes a daily medication.
- Jackson wrote in Obama’s 2016 physical results that Obama was “committed to a healthy lifestyle,” but said this week that Trump’s diet and exercise regimens need some adjustments.
President Donald Trump’s personal physician, Ronny Jackson, released the results of Trump’s first medical exam in office on Tuesday. The 71-year-old president is both physically and cognitively “fit for duty,” Jackson said.
The doctor added that Trump’s excellent health can be chalked up to “good genes” and a lifetime of abstaining from smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol.
But there is some controversy around Jackson’s positive assessment of Trump’s physical condition. The president’s weight puts him just a hair below the Center for Disease Control’s obesity threshold, with a body-mass index of 29.9. According to the CDC, a BMI of over 30 indicates obesity. Jackson recommended that Trump, who weighs 239 pounds, lose 10-15 pounds through a combination of a healthier diet and exercise.
Jackson was appointed to be the official White House doctor by Obama in 2013. Here’s how the two presidents’ health stack up.
Obama’s results show he’s a healthy guy
Obama – who is 15 years younger than Trump – assumed office at the age of 47, and the results from his 2016 physical painted a healthy picture.
At the time, Obama was 54 years old, with a height of just over 6-foot-1 and a weight of 175 pounds. According to the CDC, Obama’s body mass index in 2016 was 23.1, which is within the normal range for healthy adults. Obama was taking a few daily medications, including a Vitamin D supplement, Nexium to help control acid reflux, nicotine gum to kill occasional tobacco cravings, and Malarone to prevent malaria, since Obama was planning travel to malaria-prone regions when his exam was conducted.
Jackson’s results put Obama’s level of LDL cholesterol – commonly understood as the bad kind – at 125 milligrams per deciliter, which is above what the CDC considers healthy (anything lower than 100 mg/dL is ideal, according to the CDC).
Trump is in decent shape for a 71-year-old, but needs to shed a few pounds
Unlike Trump, Obama did not request a cognitive exam in any of his physicals. Trump scored a 30/30 on a 10-minute dementia screening test, indicating that he doesn’t suffer from cognitive impairment issues.
Trump is also on a few regular medications, including 10 milligrams of Crestor to lower his cholesterol, 81 milligrams of aspirin daily, Propecia for male pattern baldness, a topical cream to treat rosacea, and a multivitamin for daily health.
Trump’s level of LDL cholesterol is 143 milligrams per deciliter, which is higher than Obama’s despite the fact that Trump takes a statin medication to lower his cholesterol. Jackson said he was considering an increase in Trump’s dose of Crestor.
The two presidents differ in their lifestyle choices. While Trump is known to be fond of fast food and lack a consistent exercise routine, Obama was committed to a healthy lifestyle while in office, according to Jackson’s assessment.
“His adherence to a healthy diet and a consistent exercise program has resulted in an improved lean body mass and lower cholesterol level,” Jackson wrote of Obama in 2016.
Jackson told reporters on Tuesday that he and Trump “talked diet and exercise a lot.”
“He is more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part, but we’re going to do both,” Jackson said.
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