President joins overweight army of the overweight

Could it be that George Bush - teetotaller, workout fanatic and arguably the fittest American president of modern times - is joining the army of the overweight?

This weekend Mr Bush had his regular physical examination and the news was not encouraging. The President, 5ft 11ins tall, has gained 5lb since his last medical, and weighs just under 200lb, or 14st 4lb.

That gives him a body mass index of 27.1, on a scale where 25 or above is classified as overweight. "I've obviously gone through a campaign where I ate too many doughnuts," the President said, referring to a well-known hazard of running for election.

"My new year's resolution has become apparent after stepping on the scales."

For the rest, though, the 58-year-old President is in physical shape that would flatter men half his age.

His blood pressure was 110/60, well below the recommended upper limit of 120/80. Even his body fat index of 18.25 per cent, though up from 14.5 per cent at his check-up in August last year, was within the normal range of a person his age.

According to Mr Bush's doctors, he exercises six days a week, including 15 to 20 miles of mountain-biking at 15mph, weightlifting and low impact jogging on an upwardly inclined treadmill.