Trump, Fast-Food Lover And Exercise Hater, Takes A ‘Swing’ On Fitness Day

Trump, Fast-Food Lover And Exercise Hater, Takes A ‘Swing’ On Fitness Day

WASHINGTON: It’s Sports and Fitness Day at the White House.
That meant President Donald Trump – a man who has spoken out on the dangers of exercising and devours McDonald’s, KFC chicken, chocolate cake and double scoops of vanilla ice cream – spent his afternoon lecturing the nation on the importance of staying fit.The fitness event Wednesday afternoon on the White House lawn focused on how much children benefit from team sports and featured activities including flag football, baseball, golf, volleyball, soccer and track and field. For the most part, Trump avoided all of the above at the event, looking on in his suit and tie while others took part. But at one point, he appeared to step into a baseball batting cage and take a swing.
The fleeting moment caught on camera was one of the rare occasions during Trump’s presidency – outside of his leisurely golf outings – where there was photographic evidence of him engaging in exercise.Trump is perhaps the most sedentary, least healthy president in recent history.
His dietary and exercise habits have alarmed some health experts and spurred unflattering comparisons to past occupiers of the Oval Office. Barack Obama played basketball. George W. Bush went mountain biking and cleared brush on his ranch. Even Bill Clinton would try to make up for his fondness for fast food with the occasional jog to McDonald’s.Trump, by comparison, doesn’t simply avoid exercise – he has espoused theories about how exercise can be hazardous to one’s health.“All my friends who work out all the time, they’re going for knee replacements, hip replacements – they’re a disaster,” he told New York Times in 2015, saying he gets his fill of exercise standing in front of crowds at campaign events.In high school, Trump played football, baseball and soccer. In a January interview with the Wall Street Journal, he boasted: “I was always the best athlete. People don’t know that.”But he gave up his athletic pursuits after college. In The Washington Post’s biography of Trump, “Trump Revealed,” reporters traced Trump’s turn away from sports and exercise to an odd theory he developed about how a person’s body could be depleted of energy, like a battery, by exercise. When Trump, for example, learned that one of his top casino executives, John O’Donnell, was training for an Ironman triathlon, he warned him, “You are going to die young because of this.”
In January, Trump’s White House physician told reporters that Trump acknowledged that he could stand to lose a few pounds by exercising and eating better.
As far as Wednesday’s fitness event goes, “I think it’s just wonderful that the president has suddenly become interested in physical health,” said Marion Nestle, a nutrition and public health professor at New York University.