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Old 07 May 2013, 01:48 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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Default Chris Christie's weighty secret

Ten days after telling a former White House doctor to “shut up” about his weight, the governor had lap-band surgery

Salon

ETA: A more detailed article from the NY Post

Quote:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie secretly underwent lap-band stomach surgery to aggressively slim down for the sake of his wife and kids, he revealed to The Post last night.

Last edited by Lainie; 07 May 2013 at 01:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07 May 2013, 01:56 PM
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Yeah, I think Salon needs to shut up about his weight too. Whatever weight control measures that Christie is taking or not taking is between him and his doctor. It's clear he doesn't want his weight to be a matter of public discussion
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Old 07 May 2013, 02:08 PM
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It's not so clear now that he's announced he had the surgery. Also, please be sure to read the whole Salon article I linked to. One of the points the author makes is about fat-shaming.
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Old 07 May 2013, 03:05 PM
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I think he did the right thing, both on a social and a health standpoint. There's no denying that being in the political light, his health and his size would be under scrutiny.

OY
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Old 07 May 2013, 03:52 PM
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I am not Christie's doctor, and don't know his actual state of health. If he did this for genuine health reasons, after assessing the relative risks, that's one thing. If he did it for political reasons, I really wish he hadn't. The surgery is neither risk-free nor guaranteed to work, and if he was actually in good health before, then he may have made his health worse rather than better, and encouraged the fat-shamers while he's at it.

And, personally, I'd rather vote for a fat person with a published good medical report than for a (possibly temporarily) thin person who had major surgery with permanent effects on the body for political reasons. The latter would indicate to me a greater lack of willpower than the former.

(Again, if I were reasonably convinced that the surgery was done for good medical reason after properly assessing the non-political risks, it wouldn't affect my vote either way.)
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Old 07 May 2013, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post

(Again, if I were reasonably convinced that the surgery was done for good medical reason after properly assessing the non-political risks, it wouldn't affect my vote either way.)
What would someone have to do to convince you?
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Old 07 May 2013, 06:21 PM
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People who run for POTUS (which Christie is rumored to be considering) generally release medical records.

If the medical records showed actual indications of significant health problems, combined with recommendations obtained by the candidate before the surgery from physicians trained in the relevant areas and not themselves weight-loss surgeons who felt that a) the surgery would be likely to ameliorate the known problems and b) the risks of the surgery were in their opinion significantly less than the risks of the problems, I would find that convincing.
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Old 07 May 2013, 07:13 PM
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Christie hasn't been completely secretive about his efforts to lose weight. I may be dreaming this up, but I seem to recall him talking about considering lap band surgery on "Ask the Governor" (a local radio show).

As for the Salon article, there is a logical inconsistency there. It's not the same thing to freak out because there are people in public telling the world (and thus your kids) that you're at risk of death, and to take actions that preserve your health. Even if you do explain what the surgery is and what it is for to your kids, you don't have to use scary language about possibly dying and whatnot. You can say all kinds of things. Having the surgery after expressing anger is not equivalent to "disingenously worried about kids."

On another topic, Christie's personality works for New Jersey, but I'm not certain how it would play out in national politics.
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Old 07 May 2013, 07:17 PM
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I'm surprised to see the number of folks on here that say "Only the current medical condition requires it". It's not only a matter of what you may have now, but what you may get in the future that would entice me to consider what he did. e.g.: You may not have heart disease now, but the likeliness of having it is increased by being overweight.

Call me a gambler: I like to edge my bets to the safer side of things.

OY
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Old 07 May 2013, 07:46 PM
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Having surgical procedures based on the theory that you might get sick in the future doesn't seem to me to be edging one's bets toward the safer side of things, except possibly for individuals with extremely high risk of severe disease early in life.

Many people have at least some complications from the surgery. Some people gain the weight back. Just about everything I've seen on such surgery says that it works best in combination with a drastic change of diet and increased exercise.

I'd be interested in seeing a long range study (10 years or longer) showing overall results not just in weight loss but in general health, done on people in Christie's weight range (not people so heavy that their weight prevents them from exercising) compared, not to those who did nothing at all, but to people who went on a similar change in diet and exercise regimen; or even just to those who increased their exercise significantly. Does anyone know of one?
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  #11  
Old 07 May 2013, 09:45 PM
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It looks like Christie's specific weight has not been released, but estimates place him at a similar figure to our greatest president, William Howard Taft, when he was in office. (Taft, according to Wikipedia, suffered from hypertension and sleep apnea, both of which eased when he lost 60-80 pounds after leaving office.) I don't know if his weight and health issues seriously affected his performance in office, but I would guess that the presidency is a higher-stress job today than it was then (though on the other hand, treatment for those conditions has greatly improved).
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Old 08 May 2013, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
It looks like Christie's specific weight has not been released, but estimates place him at a similar figure to our greatest president, William Howard Taft, when he was in office.

I take it you mean "our heaviest president" or some such? Taft wasn't a bad president, but I don't think I've ever heard anyone call him our greatest.




I am all for leaving Christie's weight off the table, much as we should have done with Clinton's sex life and mostly have done with Obama's smoking.
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Old 08 May 2013, 06:05 AM
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I was using "greatest" in the literal sense of "most massive." Though, of course, anyone named Taft is clearly awesome....


(I do think Taft is under-rated as a President - but then anyone was kind of bound to appear to be a letdown after Teddy Roosevelt. That Taft went on to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after his Presidency, however, means he occupies a really unique spot in our history, for which I think he does not get nearly enough recognition.)
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Old 08 May 2013, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I'd be interested in seeing a long range study (10 years or longer) showing overall results not just in weight loss but in general health, done on people in Christie's weight range (not people so heavy that their weight prevents them from exercising) compared, not to those who did nothing at all, but to people who went on a similar change in diet and exercise regimen; or even just to those who increased their exercise significantly. Does anyone know of one?
Here http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1008234 is one done on elderly (65+) individuals. This http://jap.physiology.org/content/99/3/1220.short looks kinda interesting, but 13wks isn't a long time, and I'd expect their improvements in body comp to tail off, once they're fit enough for the level of exercise.

And, just because it's interesting: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article....icleid=1555137 a meta-analysis of BMI and mortality, concluding that overweight and possibly mild obesity have decreased mortality risk anyway.
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Old 09 May 2013, 12:16 PM
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Thanks, compass, those are interesting. The 13-week study, though as you note too short to mean much, is particularly interesting in that it's trying to use a different measurement for obesity than BMI.

None of them, however, compare the long-range effects of weight loss surgery to anything else; which is what (in this context) I was looking for. They don't as near as I can tell include people who had the surgery, and if they did, didn't consider them as a separate category.
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  #16  
Old 09 May 2013, 01:56 PM
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G-your weight has no bearing on whether or not you can run a country, a state or a locality. I was rather PO'd when I heard this because of what I just said, and IMO it shows how shallow we are as a society.

Dawn--hell, I can't get my husband to quit smoking--Storm
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Old 09 May 2013, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
G-your weight has no bearing on whether or not you can run a country, a state or a locality. I was rather PO'd when I heard this because of what I just said, and IMO it shows how shallow we are as a society.
Actually, a lot of people see an overweight politician as "not being in control of his/her destiny"; hence, "how could he be in good control of OUR destiny?".

Whether that is true or not, that's a different story, but the appearance of strength or weakness is a mighty one.

For this reason (at least, I think), Obama's smoking was quite hidden.

OY
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  #18  
Old 09 May 2013, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
I was rather PO'd when I heard this because of what I just said, and IMO it shows how shallow we are as a society.
Only if he's not being honest about his reasons for doing it.
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  #19  
Old 09 May 2013, 02:23 PM
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He doesn't owe us any explanation about how he is managing his health. No one expects you to be honest when people at your job pry you about your health. Why does Christie needs to answer to anyone about his health to show that he can do his job?

I don't know how many ways and how many times a guy has to tell you to NFBSK off before you actually NFBSK off
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Old 09 May 2013, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
He doesn't owe us any explanation about how he is managing his health. No one expects you to be honest when people at your job pry you about your health. Why does Christie needs to answer to anyone about his health to show that he can do his job?
He doesn't. But appearances in politics play a big role, whether we like it or not.

It's not the "how it should be" but rather "how it seems to be". I don't have anything to do with it.

OY
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