Can a fat man be healthy?

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is telling a White House doctor who worried about his weight to shut up. Dr. Connie Mariano, the White House physician from 1992 to 2001, told CNN she d like to see Christie run for president but fears he d die in office.

I'm worried he may have a heart attack. I'm worried he may have a stroke, she said. I m a Republican. I like Chris Christie. I want him to run. I just want him to lose weight. ¦ He could actually save lives out there if he turned around and did something with his weight and became healthy.

Christie lashed out at the doctor Wednesday, calling her just another hack who wants five minutes on TV.

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 2,400 miles away, the 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.

Mariano responded: "It doesn't take a physician to look at him and observe he is overweight. It is sad that he can not take my advice about his weight and risk factors for people who are overweight/obese for diabetes, heart disease, stroke constructively and instead, he chose to attack me personally.

Dr. Bloom sides with Christie on this. I agree with his point entirely, that that doctor should have shut her mouth. Diagnosing someone she s never met is out of line. He continues, Show me a president that isn t at risk. JFK was 46 years old when he was assassinated. His brother Robert almost certainly would have been elected, but he met the same sad fate. Gerald Ford hit his head on anything remotely near him. Ronald Reagan was the oldest man to be elected president (twice), and was almost assassinated. Bill Clinton had severe heart disease, and Barack Obama smokes. Perhaps Mariano will endorse Superman for president. Oops. Kryptonite. Never mind.

ACSH s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan is a little more sympathetic to Dr. Mariano. The reality is being grossly overweight is a risk factor, she says.

Sure we should note that severe obesity is a definite risk factor but no more so than high blood pressure or cigarette smoking. Do we know what all the candidates LDL/HDL levels are, or their blood pressure? ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross asks. He happens to wear his problem on his ...sleeve? Belt!

On the other hand, says ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava, the link between severe obesity and early death is statistical just by looking at a person you can t tell where on the obesity-death curve an individual lies.

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