Melania Trump is reportedly trying to protect the bottom line — on her husband’s medical charts. Donald Trump is known for his fast-food diet, and his health has been a matter of public speculation since before the election. Now reports say that Melania has asked the White House kitchen staff to help her coax her husband into better eating choices.
In a New York Times profile, Malania is described as a private person, whose low profile as a First Lady makes it easy for the public to project their own views about the president onto her, seeing her as either the loyal helpmate, trapped victim, or willing enabler.
The fragment of Melania’s personal life that she has allowed to be publicly known neither confirms nor denies any of these profiles. However, one detail that does stand out is her attempts to guide her husband into a healthier lifestyle. Mrs. Trump, who reportedly believes in exercise and a healthy lifestyle for herself, is said to be trying to direct her husband’s meals onto a wiser path by asking the White House kitchen staff to present him with healthier foods.
In his insider tell-all, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Michael Wolff revealed that Trump has a deep-seated phobia of being poisoned and that for this reason, he not only has a preference for fast food but specific rituals about how it must be ordered. (The restaurant can never know they’re preparing meals for the president!) In January, dietician Carolina Guizar told Newsweek that the fast-food diet, with a typical single McDonald’s order for the president racking up more calories than recommended for most people in an entire day, is risky business, raising the chances of diabetes, heart disease, and mental sluggishness, especially for an individual in a high-stress position.
In January, People reported that Trump had agreed to temper his diet at the recommendation of his doctor, Ronny Jackson, whose report included Trump’s height and weight placing him just shy of clinical obesity, and a complete lack of physical exercise.
However, since then, Trump’s previous doctor, Dr. Harold Bornstein, who released a report on Trump’s health as a presidential candidate, has admitted that Trump dictated the medical report himself, including, as NPR describes here, “astonishingly excellent” blood pressure and “only positive results” on all tests.
Meanwhile, Ronny Jackson has come under investigation for actions such as improperly prescribing medicines and drinking on the job, according to Politico. This leaves a taint on the second assessment of Trump’s health the public has received.
The news that Melania is fighting to change Trump’s diet is one more thread bringing together a picture of a man in a stressful office, with long-term dangerous dietary habits, and a secretive medical history. Trump, like presidents before him, controls what medical information is released publicly, so there’s no guarantee that the public will know if he does develop any conditions that affect his ability to perform his tasks as president.