The Fat Nag’s loyal readers have noticed that she has not bugged, wheedled or begged you to get the fat out — for a very long time.
She is despondent. For years, dear readers, I have reminded you of the dire consequences of obesity. Yet the Twinkies, Super Big Gulps and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos prevail.
In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the latest in a sad series of reports on America’s love affair with fat. Overall, 38 percent of adults and 17 percent of teenagers in the United States were obese in 2014.
People who are obese or overweight are more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, certain forms of cancer and even Alzheimer’s, studies show.
We just get fatter.
Now comes hope? Physical health has become a weighty issue in America’s historic 2016 presidential campaign. Is it time for The Nag to pop the cork on the carrot juice, to dance away on stacks of Milky Way bars?
For more than a year, I have watched the leading presidential nominees as they lumber onto the podiums. My eagle eye has measured Hillary Clinton’s expanding pantsuits. Donald Trump’s tailored suits do a good job of hiding his girth, but that belly doesn’t lie.
Last week, Clinton’s near-faint and bout with pneumonia forced both candidates to release more details about their physical fitness for high office.
It is crucial that our presidential aspirants are healthy enough to take on the world’s toughest job. They should also serve as role models, as compasses for how to live and thrive.
President Barack Obama did his part. He is surely grayer as he winds through his final months in office, but appears healthier and trimmer than eight years ago.
On Thursday, Trump appeared on the “Dr. Oz Show” to discuss his health. That is so fitting, given than Trump’s campaign has come right out of the Land of Oz.
Trump, America’s reality TV ringmaster, delivered a masterful performance. He casually handed Dr. Mehmet Oz two pieces of paper, which he said, summarized a recent medical exam. After a quick read, Oz bubbled, “If a patient of mine had these records, I’d be very happy, and I’d send them on their way.”
Dr. Oz did note that Trump, at 6-foot-3, weighs 236 pounds.
He suggested that Trump’s BMI (body mass index) is “high” and close to 30. That’s the edge between being merely overweight and obese.
No surprise there. Trump famously showcases his proclivity for junk food on the campaign trail.
Next, Trump did what he does so well. He appealed to the basest of our instincts.
“I think if I had one thing, I’d like to lose weight,” he said humbly. “It’s tough because of the way I live, but the one thing I would like to do is be able to drop 15, 20 pounds. It would be good.”
Ah, wouldn’t we all.
Then, Trump delivered his “pizza de resistance.” He actually gets tons of exercise at those massive campaign rallies before his adoring fans, he explained. “When I’m speaking in front of 15 and 20,000 people and I’m up there using a lot of motion.” Those wild and amazing hand gestures.
“It’s a pretty healthy act, and I really enjoy doing it,” Trump continued. “A lot of times, these rooms are very hot, like saunas, and I guess that’s a form of exercise, you know?”
Yes, I know. Like walking out to the mail box. Like lifting that fork, over and over and over.
Fat deniers must have been eating it up.
Trump’s campaign has been built on daily dissembling, misrepresentations and outright lies. Now comes the biggest lie, but one that millions of Americans will eagerly embrace.
Donald J. Trump has won the fat vote, hands down. On Nov. 8, it may be enough to put him — and his 236 pounds — over the top.
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