An exercise in hypocrisy? Trump lectures America on fitness
Donald Trump An exercise in hypocrisy? Trump lectures America on fitness
At the White Houseâs new Sports and Fitness Day, the presidentâs past comments on exercise being bad for you were notably absent
Wednesday was Sports and Fitness Day at the White House. This is not to be confused with the Barack Obama-era Fitness and Sports Day, which Donald Trump has cancelled.
Similarly, in February, the president issued an executive order which replaced the Obamaâs Presidentâs Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition with a Presidentâs Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.Patriots coach Belichick and Incredible Hulk star Ferrigno join Trump sports council Read more
While one might be thinking that Trumpâs decision to swap the words âsportsâ and âfitnessâ was a petty attempt by the president to change something just because Obama had set it up, it could be that the semantic shift signaled Trumpâs decision to refocus the council on youth sports instead of general fitness and healthy eating. The executive order also led to Michelle Obamaâs Lets Move program being scrapped.
More than 250 children, parents and coaching staff convened on the South Lawn for the Sports and Fitness Day, joined by sporting celebrities like Olympic volleyball player Misty May-Treanor and retired MLB stars Mariano Rivera and Johnny Damon. Lou Ferrigno, star of the 1970s TV version of the Incredible Hulk, was also at the event â" perhaps Trump was impressed by his physique.
Trump started his short speech at the event with assurances that the new council âwould be a great, great successâ.
He told the audience of young athletes that he has âloved sports all my lifeâ although he does not appear to play any, except for golf. The president also did not mention his views on exercise, which are rather unorthodox. In their book Trump Revealed, the Washington Postâs Mike Kranish and Marc Fisher write that Trump believes the human body is âlike a battery, with a finite amount of energy, which exercise only depletedâ.
Trump expounded on his ideas that exercise is bad for you, in a 2015 interview with the New York Times magazine . ââAll my friends who work out all the time, theyâre going for knee replacements, hip replacements â" theyâre a disaster,ââ he said.
Unlike former presidents Obama and George W Bush, who worked out daily at the White House, reports say that Trump has not found the time to include a fitness regime into his schedule.
He does believe, however, that addressing large crowds of people is a form of exercise. In conversation with Dr Oz, Trump once said: âWhen Iâm up there speaking in front of 15,000, 25,000 people up there, using a lot of motion, I guess, in its own way itâs a really he althy act. A lot of times these rooms are really hot, like saunas. I guess thatâs a form of exercise.â
Trumpâs views that exercise is life-depleting arenât widely supported by science. However, a 2015 paper, published in the American Heart Associationâs journal, Circulation, did find that strenuous exercise undertaken more than two to three times per week was âassociated with an increased vascular riskâ amongst middle-aged women. As Trump is not a middle-aged woman it is not clear how relevant this is to him, however.
Despite his views on exercise, Trump apparently started a new health and fitness regime earlier this year, after his first presidential physical found him to be borderline obese. The president is 239 pounds and 6ft 3in tall, which puts him just one pound under what official guidelines classify as obese - although some have questioned whether the presidentâs height was exaggerated to stop him from falling into the category. Ronny Jackson, who has since left his post as the presidentâs personal physician amid concerns about his professionalism, told reporters that Trump had acknowledged that he might benefit from losing some weight and exercising more.
Since then, sources have told CNN that Trump is being served slightly healthier food but âthey havenât identified a discernible exercise routine beyond th e weekend rounds of golf the president enjoys with the help of a cartâ.
Nobody is entirely clear what Trumpâs new health regimen consists of and the White House seems reluctant to elucidate the matter. Ivanka Trump abruptly left a press call on Tuesday designed to provide background on Sports and Fitness Day after a reporter asked her questions about her fatherâs new health regimen. Perhaps her phone, like the human body went when one exercises too hard, ran out of battery.Topics
- Donald Trump
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