America's 10 Unhealthiest Presidents
2. William Taft27th President (1909-1913)
Obesity: Though Taft generally didn't drink (he became a teetotaler in 1906), he had an extreme appetite. At 5'11", he ballooned to over 300 pounds during his presidency, making him the fattest president in history. However, through aggressive dieting, he lost almost 100 pounds, which he continually gained and lost over his lifetime.
Sleep apnea: Due to his morbid obesity, Taft suffered from severe sleep apnea (a sleep disorder marked by pauses in breathing during sleep) throughout his life. He slept through meetings with the president when he was serving as secretary of war, nodded off during conversations with the speaker of the House and with the chief justice of the Supreme Court, fell asleep in the middle of signing documents and while eating, and also once slept through a typhoon in the Philippines.
Cardiac arrhythmia: Also due to his weight, Taft suffered from an abnormal heartbeat, which he monitored by taking medication. High blood pressure and an irregular heart rate plagued him throughout his life.
Smoker: Taft was a cigar smoker when he started his term, but quit while in office.
Gout: Both of Taft's feet were attacked by gout (a disease created by a buildup of uric acid, which causes swelling, stiffness, and burning pain in joints).
Gallstones: Because of the gout, Taft had 30 or so stones removed from his gallbladder.
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