Donald Trump faces another testing time this week amid a myriad of challenges over healthare and tax reform while fighting off revelations about his campaign’s contact with Russians.
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He’s 71, holds down an incredibly stressful job, and is overweight. He doesn’t exercise. His eating habits are less than ideal. And to top it all off, he doesn’t get enough sleep.
For anyone walking into a doctor’s office with those symptoms, stern warnings to change one’s lifestyle are sure to follow.
But President Trump’s attitude toward diet and exercise isn’t simply a personal issue. It resonates in his policies on public health. Already his administration has relaxed nutritional standards on school lunches and he has yet to name any members of the president’s fitness council.
It could also impact his judgment. USA TODAY reported recently that neurologists say Trump shows most symptoms of sleep deprivation — including diminished cognition and anxiety — and a June report shows exercise is the single best medicine for a good night’s sleep.
Stress is likely what ages presidents the most, says physician Anupam Jena, a Harvard Medical School health care policy professor and author of a study on politicians’ mortality rates.
“Trump has got an awful lot of stress with whatever’s going to happen with the Russian probe,” says Jena.
Jena’s 2015 study looked at the mortality rates of politicians from around the world and found their life expectancy was 2.7 years shorter than the person who failed to beat them in an election.
Jena, an internal medicine doctor, says healthy eating, increased exercise and a good night’s sleep are the key ways political leaders can offset their risk of an early death.
Those who know Trump, including physicians, say they aren’t worried about him.
“The guy is not a health nut, but he’s…