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America's 10 Unhealthiest Presidents

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Presidential fitness hasn't always been characteristic of the nation's commander-in-chief. Here, a retrospective of some of the least healthy presidents in American history.

Presidential Fitness

President Barack Obama knows a thing or two about fitness. In December, the Washington Post reported that he'd hit the gym for at least 48 days in a row, clocking at least 90 minutes each time. Photographers have snapped him playing golf in Hawaii on Christmas Eve, doing impromptu pull-ups right before giving a speech in Missoula, Montana, on the election trail, and playing a game of pick-up basketball (a sport he's played since he was a kid) with staff and Secret Service agents on Election Day.

Considering his well-documented gym habits and disciplined diet, the media has heralded Obama as the new face of presidential health. Of course, he isn't perfect -- the guy has been a longtime smoker (although he has resolved to quit, and has often been seen chewing Nicorette), occasionally chows down on cheeseburgers, has admitted to trying marijuana and cocaine as a teenager, and there's a history of cancer in his family. Still, his longtime physician issued a statement in 2008 that Obama is in "excellent health," citing his lean body mass, and normal cholesterol, blood pressure, and EKG levels.

But not all American presidents have been model specimens of health. Some of them far from it, in fact. Disease, injury, and destructive habits have run rampant in the 43 commanders-in-chief -- but while we can't totally fault George Washington for contracting malaria or smallpox (it was the 1700s, after all), we also can't really condone John Adams' habit of having bread and beer for breakfast at age 15.

Here, the 10 least healthy presidents in American history.

Next:  10. James Monroe


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drthan wrote:

Ummm...Where's FDR on this list? polio with paralysis, severe heart disease with CHF due to chronic hypertension, probable metastatic melanoma, severe atherosclerosis. Died shortly into 4th term. A glaring omission maybe due to the fact that his medical records were lost/destroyed.

10/3/2011 11:16:51 PM Report Abuse

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