A recent article from the Associated Press caught our attention. Rather than critiquing President Obama’s health care reform bill, his national security plan or his initiatives to curb the effects of climate change, the article instead analyzed how the president has been taking care of himself during his first year in office. And what a first year it has been.
Keeping in line with other previous presidents, President Obama takes his health very seriously. Not only does he start his day with a morning workout but he and first lady Michelle have created a White House community garden in order to extol the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables and to combat childhood obesity.
But given an economy that rivals The Great Depression, skyrocketing unemployment rates, a controversial war in Afghanistan, a failing automotive industry, a housing and mortgage crisis, and a foiled terrorist attack on Christmas Day, some are wondering if the stress of the past 365 days has taken its weighty or rather weight loss toll on the president.
Not so, say his aides and those close to him. Despite the unfathomable amount of responsibility and issues the president has facing him every day, he remains the same weight, save five pounds in either direction, for the past 17 years. In addition, while he may have sprouted a few extra gray hairs this past year, he eats breakfast with his daughters, 11-year-old Malia and 8-year-old Sasha, every morning; that is of course, if he is not accepting a Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo or negotiating a climate change treaty in Copenhagen.
Yet in our media and body obsessed culture, it’s no wonder that the president’s physique has received its time in the limelight, just as his wife Michelle’s buff arms have become the envy of women all around the world. And given the rates of being overweight and obese in this country, President Obama, with his sleek and lean stature, is kind of an outlier.
While it is important that we have a healthy role model in our president, stress is one of the biggest factors in uninentional weight loss. A harried mind and a frenzied schedule opens up the door to missed meals and loss of appetite. Let’s just hope that the president continues to surround himself with the same self-caring health behaviors as he has in the past and with the right people who are making sure that in between signing treaties and thwarting terrorists, President Obama is served a bowl of his favorite chili and greets the day with an essential and energizing workout.