Much has been written about the health of our President Donald Trump recently. He reportedly eats a meal at McDonald’s worth a whooping 2420 kcal in one sitting. It comes out to 112 grams of fat. His order, during his campaign trail, was 2 filet-o-fishes, two Big Macs and a chocolate shake. It’s been well documented that his diet is full of garbage, so you’d think he’d get a bad bill of health from his doctor, right?
The White House doctor recently stated that the President was in good health. How could he be in good health if he eats McDonald’s garbage? He is 6 foot 3 inches and weighs about 239 pounds giving him a BMI of 29.9—literally one point under obesity. He reportedly eats a lot of garbage ‘food’ and even reportedly drinks up to 12 cans of Diet Coke per day. It seems that Big Food is going to love our President even more because he gives them more free advertisements.
Renowned nutritionist Zoe Harcombe says “If true, this is a terrible diet” … “Twelve cans of Diet Coke contain far more than an adults daily recommended dose of caffeine. Consuming too much if it induces energy highs followed by crashing lows and potentially manic behaviour, which could explain his enraged tweets.” I’m not interested in attempting to ‘explain’ his behavior in a psychological manner due to his diet, though, I’m only interested in his overall health and how his diet does or does not affect it.
He also scored 30 out of 30 in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment which tests for mild cognitive dysfunctioning—the test being requested by Trump himself. However, two mental health experts state that the Montreal Cognitive Assessment is only used to determine whether or not further Alzheimer’s or cognitive screening is needed. Either way, they state that he should get a PET or MRI scan to assess any possible damage to his brain.
Interestingly, here is the President’s health report.
A few things to note here. Trump’s total cholesterol puts him into the borderline range. His triglycerides are at a good level, below average. HDL cholesterol being 67 mg/dL is in the good range while his LDL cholesterol level puts him at borderline risk. Trump’s cholesterol to HDL level, however, is good implying that he’s not at an increased risk of heart attack.
Regarding his white blood cell count, he’s slightly below the values for a man of his age, and white blood cell count is a good predictor of mortality in the elderly (Nilsson, Hedberg, and Ohrvik, 2014) and since he’s on the lower end there, he doesn’t have to worry about that.
For hemoglobin (HGB) he’s in the normal range. His HCT levels (hematocrit tests measure the percentage of red blood cells in the blood) and since he’s at 48.7% this puts him in the normal range of 38.8 to 50 percent. His platelet count (PLT) is in the normal range (241 K/uL), with the normal range being between 140 to 400 K/uL. His fasting blood glucose is normal (he had a value of 89 mg/dL with the average being 70 to 100 mg/dL implying that Trump is at no risk of developing type II diabetes.
His BUN level (blood urea nitrogen) was 19.0 mg/dL with the normal range being 7 to 20 mg/dL so he’s at the high end there. His blood creatinine level being .98 mg/dL is in the normal range of .84 to 1.21 mg/dL. His ALT levels were 27 U/L with the normal range being 7 to 56 units per literally. His AST levels were 19 U/L with the normal range being 10 to 40 U/L. His hemoglobin A1C level is normal at 5.0%. A level between 5.7 and 6.4 indicates pre-diabetes indicating that he is not at risk for diabetes.
Regarding vitamin D levels, Trump is right at the edge of good levels, at 20 ng/ml however others state that for the elderly their levels should be around 32 to lessen the chance of fracture. His PSA level (prostate specific antigen) is extremely low at .12 ng/dl with medical professionals advising that PSA levels over 10 ng/dl are at risk for prostate cancer. Finally his TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone level) was 1.76 uIU/ml with the normal range being .4 to 5.0 uIU/ml.
The only thing wrong looking at this report are his LDL cholesterol levels. Regarding the summary of the report, it states that he should lower his intake of fat and carbohydrates. Ravnskov et al (2016) state that “High LDL-C is inversely associated with mortality in most people over 60 years.” So it seems he’s fine there.
He should drop carbs for more fat. Of course, it seems like the doctors at the White House are still living in the 70s where fat is demonized, despite saturated fat consumption showing no risk for higher all cause mortality (de Sousa et al, 2015; Dehghan et al, 2017). In my opinion, it’s the carbohydrates driving up his cholesterol levels, not fat consumption.
Trump claims that he “gets more exercise than people think“, though his doctor himself said that Trump was dealt a hand of “good genes”, so well these “good genes” protect him for the rest of his life as he eats a shitty diet? In short, no.
A medical doctor and geneticist stated that “Even if Trump has been dealt a good genetic hand, he’s certainly not helping himself.” Also stating that people who have genes that lower their risk of disease “can mess that up.” Kera et al (2016) showed that “Among participants at high genetic risk, a favorable lifestyle was associated with 50% lower relative risk of coronary artery disease than was an unfavorable lifestyle.”
So ‘good genes’ and bad diet is the same as ‘bad genes’ and good diet. ‘Good genes’ doesn’t mean you should (and are able to) eat garbage like fast food every day of your life. Your diet affects your health, no matter if you have “good” or “bad” genes.
In sum, Trump may have ‘good genes’ to eat the garbage he eats and have a relatively good blood panel. However, as can be seen with the data I have provided here, ‘good genes’ and a bad diet isn’t ‘better’ than ‘bad genes’ and a good diet. No matter which genetic hand you were dealt, your diet needs to be kept in check it you want to have a good metabolic and blood panel and be healthy into old age. It seems that Trump will need to put away the Diet Cokes, and 2420 kcal McDonald’s meals if he wants to live into old age. Though the shitty advice for him to ‘lower fat and carbs’ doesn’t make sense; just lower carbs, no need to lower fat at all.