Chris Christie’s “Intensely Personal” Health Decision

Chris Christie is many things, but not ordinarily a quiet guy. Yet three months ago, right after appearing on Letterman to make jokes about being fat — even eating a doughnut on camera to make light of it — Christie had bariatric surgery and told virtually no one until this week. Says Christie, “If I had a choice, I would’ve never talked about it.”

“I’ve struggled with this issue for 20 years,” Christie told the New York Post, which broke the story. “For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them.”

Saying, “It was not your business; it was nobody’s business other than mine,” Christie made it clear that this decision was all about his health. Period. “I do not see myself nor do I care to be a role model in this regard for anyone; this is an intensely personal issue. No matter what happens with me … the fact of the matter is everyone has to make these decisions for themselves. It’s not a career issue for me; it is a long-term health issue for me.”

Christie was open in talking with the Post about his experience, but declined to talk about his exact weight. “I just don’t talk about it,” he said. “I think that they are all false markers. I’ve lost and gained more weight in my life than I can count and what I know is what really matters — the weight numbers are an indicator of how I’ll feel in the long term.”

Whether he talks about it or not, unless he retires from public life, Christie will be a very public example. And so far, he’s doing pretty well by making one thing very clear. Obesity is all about health — not appearance, not competence, not character — and what you do about it is nobody’s business but your own.

Click here to read more in the Atlantic, click here to read more in the Wall Street Journal, and click here to read more in Politico.

President Barack Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tour storm damage, image by Pete Souza / Wikimedia

Subscribe by email to follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health, obesity, and policy.