WASHINGTON — Frequent burger runs aside, President Obama is in excellent health, the White House said Thursday in its first update on his well-being in nearly three years.
Obama eats a healthful diet, exercises daily and remains tobacco free, according to a memo from his doctor after a physical exam last month. He is a former smoker who is often seen chewing nicotine gum.
Obama, who turns 53 in August, has mild tenderness in the muscle beneath his right foot, a condition he treats by taking an occasional ibuprofen tablet. He also takes a daily supplement to treat mild vitamin D deficiency.
“The president’s overall health is excellent,” Obama’s doctor, Ronny Jackson, said in the memo to departing White House press secretary Jay Carney. “All clinical data indicates that the president is currently healthy and that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency.”
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The administration released the report after repeated inquiries by The Associated Press into the lack of transparency about the president’s health. Obama’s previous health update came in October 2011.
He has had three physical exams as president.
Obama’s pulse and blood pressure are excellent, according to Thursday’s report.
His total cholesterol registered at 213, a bit over the recommendation to stay below 200. His LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, is slightly above the recommendation to stay below 130, pushing both into the borderline-high category. But both are offset by his excellent HDL, or “good” cholesterol, level, which, at 72, is above the recommended 60.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Obama has lost a pound and a few ounces since 2011, and had several benign skin tags removed from his neck.
While there is no requirement for the president to have a physical, modern officeholders undergo them regularly and routinely release the results to reassure the public that they are up to the job, said Dr. Connie Mariano, who was chief White House physician and director of the White House Medical Unit under President Clinton.