This has been the week we became oddly obsessed with Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s medical records.
Clinton released a new assessment of her health from a real doctor after a pneumonia diagnosis and a subsequent (and very public) fainting episode, while Trump went on the TV show of known quack Dr. Oz and busted out a couple papers from his personal doctor proclaiming him to be healthy.
That letter highlighted some of the candidate’s basic health stats, like his cholesterol levels (which Oz praised vaguely as “good numbers,” thanks to a statin) and blood pressure. While the letter gave Trump a clean bill of health, a particular combination of numbers suggests Trump isn’t the healthiest he can be. Trump’s height — 6 feet 3 inches — and his weight — 236 pounds — mean the candidate’s Body Mass Index, or BMI, clocks in at 29.5.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies BMIs between 18.5 and 25 as normal, between 25 and 30 as overweight, and anything 30 or higher as obese. Trump comes in just under that obesity threshold.
Crunch the numbers, and we find that Trump would be the third heaviest president, after William Howard Taft (332 pounds) and Grover Cleveland (275 pounds); he’d come in sixth in terms of BMI. The presidents ahead of him on that list (Taft, Cleveland, McKinley, Taylor, and Theodore Roosevelt) didn’t exactly have treadmills or weight-loss drugs at their disposal.
The heftiest president in recent years was Bill Clinton, with a BMI of 28.3 while in office. But his stats aren’t too different from Trump’s — Clinton is 6 foot 2 inches and weighed 234 pounds. Trump’s diet is notoriously not that different from the former president’s, featuring plenty of fast food (Clinton is now on a strict vegan diet).
Trump’s BMI is only part of the story, though. Even the CDC notes that BMI doesn’t measure the fat and muscle composition of a person’s body. The Rock, for example, falls in the obese category. Trump can’t blame his high BMI on a strenuous weightlifting regimen, though. He told Dr. Oz his exercise currently consists of rounds of golf and giving speeches in hot rooms on the campaign trail.
Unfortunately, there’s no official explanation for the orange skin.
Photos via Public Domain, Getty Images / Spencer Platt