According to a new CNN report, the leader who stands on the precipice of clinical obesity is quietly making small changes to his diet, and acknowledging in private that he needs to lose weight. Exercise, however, reportedly remains less of a priority for the 71-year-old — even as he takes part in Wednesday’s White House Sports and Fitness Day.
“Some people exercise, some people don’t,” Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, said in January while announcing the results of Trump’s physical. “Some people just haven’t done that as part of their routine. And I would say that’s the category he falls in right now.”
But CNN reports that the president is making noticeable changes to his eating habits, with Dover sole (his favorite) often being substituted for steak, and buns from his beloved hamburgers being removed — at least the top halves. Dietitians have also reportedly been working with the White House kitchen on ideas for healthier eating.
Trump reportedly agreed in January to try and lose 10 to 15 pounds, per Jackson’s recommendations, after the 6-ft. 3-in. president weighed in at 239 lbs. (According to multiple reports, those stats put his body mass index at 29.9, just a tenth of a point shy of clinical obesity.)
Sources close to the president told CNN they have noticed small changes in the president’s diet — even as he made a point during the campaign to show himself eating fast food, including KFC, as a way to connect with his base.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski wrote in his book released last year, Let Trump Be Trump, that then-candidate Trump once satisfied his fast food craving on the campaign trail with an order that included “two Big Macs, two Fillet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted” — a meal that clocks in at a whopping 2,530 calories, with 114g fat and 3,530 mg of sodium.
Trump underwent a complete physical in January, and afterwards Jackson revealed that Trump is “currently very healthy,” but “would benefit from a diet that is lower in fat and carbohydrates, and from a routine exercise regimen.” The physician also said Trump’s cholesterol is slightly elevated, but he’s taking Crestor to combat that, and otherwise “his cardiac health is excellent.”
RELATED VIDEO: PEOPLE Writer Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack
CNN reports that there remains little sign that Trump has amped up his exercise regimen, noting that he typically uses golf carts while hitting the links. The outlet also reported that Trump himself has downplayed the importance of exercise, even wondering out loud whether it carries more risk than benefit.
First daughter Ivanka Trump, who is taking part in Wednesday’s White House fitness event, also dodged a question about her father’s fitness regimen with reporters on Tuesday. When the question was posed to her during a pre-arranged conference call, she did not answer — and an aide explained that she’d left for another meeting.
Trump himself defended his exercise regimen in January, rebutting Jackson’s claims that he’s too sedentary.
“I get exercise. I mean I walk, I this, I that,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview. “I run over to a building next door. I get more exercise than people think.”