Chris Christie’s weight-loss surgery feeds talk he could run for the White House in 2016

 

When Chris Christie briefly considered a bid for the White House in 2011, many suggested the popular New Jersey Governor was too fat to be President. However, if he decides to run in 2016 his weight may be less of a burden; in an interview with the New York Post, Christie has revealed that he underwent secret gastric-band surgery earlier this year, and observers say it is already paying off.

The Republican said he decided to have the operation after turning 50 last year. He checked into the hospital under a pseudonym on 16 February, and went home later that day, telling only his family and his chief of staff.

The 40-minute procedure involves placing a silicone band around the stomach to reduce its size and so limit the amount of food it can hold. Christie said: “A week or two ago, I went to a steakhouse and ordered a steak and ate about a third of it and I was full.”

He insisted his decision to undergo surgery was motivated not by ambition, but by his wife and four children. “I’ve struggled with this issue for 20 years,” he told the Post. “I know it sounds crazy to say running for president is minor, but in the grand scheme of things, it was looking at Mary Pat and the kids and going, ‘I have to do this for them, even if I don’t give a crap about myself’.”

Christie has never revealed his precise weight, and declined to disclose how much he has lost. In December 2012, he told ABC News that he was “trying” to lose weight. “I’ve had more diets and lost and gained back more weight than I’d care to count,” he said. In an interview, with talk-show host David Letterman, he agreed his flab was “fair game” for comedians. But, he said: “I’m basically the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen in your life.”

Not everybody agreed. While Christie won support due to his energetic response to Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the New Jersey coastline last October, Dr Connie Mariano, a former White House physician, had told CNN that she was worried “he may have a heart attack … I’m worried he may have a stroke”. Christie responded by saying that Mariano had never treated him, and so “should shut up” about his health.

He does intend to run for a second term as New Jersey Governor this  November and has reportedly already raised more than $6m (£3.9m) in campaign donations. But he is also widely touted as a favourite for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. And Washington insiders suggest the weight-loss surgery will help.

Mike Huckabee, the former Republican governor of Arkansas, shed more than 110lbs in advance of his running for the Presidency back in 2008. Huckabee completed several marathons and he even wrote a self-help book , chronicling his weight-loss, called Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Solution Architect - Contract

£500 - £600 per day: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Solution Architect is requir...

360 Resourcing Solutions: Export Sales Coordinator

£18k - 20k per year: 360 Resourcing Solutions: ROLE: Export Sales Coordinato...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Telesales Executive - OTE £35,000+

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest developer of mobile...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue