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Christie’s Weight Loss Surgery Becomes Fodder for Political Speculation

5-7-13

By Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron
NJ Today

The New York Post broke the story of Christie’s secret weight-loss surgery.

It took place February 16 and involved a fake name and the doctor coming to him.

Just twelve days earlier, he was joking with David Letterman about his weight and pulled out a doughnut.

The very next day at a town hall, he amplified on his 30-year struggle to lose weight.

“I know people have concerns but as I said to David [Letterman] last night on the show, ‘So far, up to 50 years old, I’ve been remarkably healthy and my doctor continues to warn me that my luck is going to run out relatively soon. So believe me it’s something that I’m very conscious of.”

Since then, Christie appears to have slimmed down.

He told the Post he did it for his wife and children.

We asked Hoboken-based political editor and publisher Nick Acocella about the political implications.

“Everything you do, even if it’s for family reasons, has political implications. Everybody’s talking about the implications for 2016 and that’s real. He was not going to run for president in his current shape,” said Acocella. “But it also has an impact on the current race. We’re X number of weeks out and by doing this, he’s now the center of attention for another week. He’s like an eclipse. He blocks out the sun for Barbara Buono as often as possible. Why do I say that? Look we’re here talking about this and not something else.”

At the obesity clinic of St. Barnabas, Dr. Michael Fishman demonstrated the gastric band for us.

“What it essentially is doing is dividing the stomach into two parts, basically creating a very small stomach above the band and the large stomach below the band … you feel full quickly and you feel full longer,” explained Fishman.

How well does it work?

Said Fishman, “No matter who the patient is, if they can exercise efficiently to get their metabolism up and they follow the diet that we typically prescribe, they tend to do very well with the band.”

As Christie has become a more likely presidential aspirant, people more and more have pointed to his weight as a possible obstacle. His gastric band surgery may well have been done more with his family in mind than the White House. But sometimes people do things for more than one reason.