Is Dubya Chubbya Than the Government Recommends?


Radley Balko notes that despite being a clean livin' fitness fanatic who works out six times a week, George W. Bush is still overweight according to the government's scale.

NEXT: "'Scuze Me While I Kiss This Guy" (Don't Ask, Do Tell Edition)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. With a little creative omission, this line pops out of that article:

    “President Bush is just one more reminder that we don’t need big-government solutions…”

    Indeed he is!

  2. Yeah, one thing’s for sure; under Bush, the government has grown fatter at an alarming rate.

  3. Should we introduce a GMI to measure how big the government should be relative the population?

  4. Maybe they’ll scrap the morning press briefing in favor of a televised aerobics class led by the Prez.

  5. Perhaps the Atkins diet would help… oh, wait; they’re bankrupt. A trendy diet fell by the wayside? Gee, I wonder how that happened?

  6. Bush is a tub-o-lard? I say this calls for Maoist mandatory calisthenics for the entire country.

  7. the real problem w/ BMI is it is used by insurance companies to deny coverage w/o needing to see any real medical data. it happened to me…they consider me obese w/ a BMI of 34 when in fact i’m a large, perfectly fit bodybuilder. but because i told the truth about my height/weight on my insurance app, and because i’m self-employed, i’m now only insurable as “high risk.” if we had any real competition in health care, i reckon i could find someone else to insure me at a reasonable premium.

  8. According to another Washington Post article his body fat percentage fell to 15.79 from 18.25. 18.25 is pretty respectable, but 15.79 borders on athletically lean. I’m not sure I believe the prez has the body of Lance Armstrong, but if true, he’s one lean dude.

  9. There used to be two BMIs for the two sexes, reflecting the fact that a healthy woman will have more body fat than a healthy man. But now that there’s only one, does anybody know how that works? Specifically, are women held to the stricter standards of men (thus making almost all of us “fat,”), or are men held to the looser standards of women (thus making most of them “skinny,”), or did they just split the difference to create a chart that’s inaccurate for BOTH sexes?

    Also, didn’t there used to be different charts for different ages, to reflect that your metabolism slows as you age, so a guy who’s in fine shape for a fifty-year-old might be rather tubby by the standards of someone in his twenties.

    Sheesh. I’m as big a Bush-basher as anyone, but even *I* would not call him a fatass.

  10. Every time I hear about how our country needs to get in better shape, I have a vision of that scene in 1984 where Winston struggles to touch his toes to the kindly nagging of the telescreen aerobics instructor.

    That’s what freaks me out about this BMI silliness – the bottom line is that these people at the NIH are saying that we just can’t take care of our own bodies, and for the good of the state we should shed some collective pounds. All we need is a charismatic leader to help us sweat our way to freedom!

    p.s. Jimmy, I feel your pain as a rugby player/weightlifter, I’ve been obese for quite some time now)

  11. jennifer,

    My guess is that they adjusted BMI so that women end up looking better, allowing for the extra weight. For instance, I fall smack in the middle of “normal” BMI when I actually am more on the high range of normal as far as body type. This compared to several men I know who are definitely “skinny” being told they are overweight according to BMI (for instance a 6’3” friend of mine who weighed 190 was told he should lose 15 lbs.!

    I think BMI may also become less accurate the taller a person is, particularly for taller men.

  12. linguist,

    175 for 6’3″?! What, we need to look like OBL? That’s pretty f’d up. I guess I must be overweight also, seeing as I’m 5’9″, 150, a 30″ waist and almost no muscle mass.

  13. 6’3″ 175 is where I’m at, and I’m pretty damn skinny. I run a fair amount though, and back in the days of the crew team I plummeted to 159. The coach wanted me there to row light weight boats, but the nutrition counselor at the gym told me I’d be better off quitting the team if that was what he wanted.
    And the first suggestion I hear the statists offer is a calorie tax. I was eating near 5000 calories a day back then. Why does America hate the athletes?

  14. I couldn’t make this up if I tried:

    From the DNC, via Yahoo News:

    Doctors gave President Bush a clean bill of health in his annual checkup this weekend and White House spokesperson Dana Perino proclaimed him to be “in superior health.” However, America’s youth are not so lucky. While obesity has been declared an epidemic in this country, Bush’s education policy is putting children at risk with cuts in physical education and school athletic programs.

  15. Hmmm…just checked my BMI, and I’m on the verge of being overweight. Interesting, since:

    I cycle daily.
    I’m a volunteer firefighter and a military reservist. On my last PT test, I scored in the top 10% service-wide.
    My body fat is about 12%.

    Guess I better start watching my diet, eh?

  16. You’d better start watching your diet, Number 6, unless you want the government to start watching it for you.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.