The President of the United States has often been called the most powerful person in the world, but that doesn’t make them immune to heart disease. Heart disease can affect everyone, no matter who they are.
We can learn a lot by examining four of our Presidents who suffered from cardiovascular disease. We need to be mindful of our health and take the necessary steps to maintain good health.
Here’s what 4 Presidents can teach us about heart disease:
Grover Cleveland was the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms. He served from 1885-1889 and 1893-1897. Cleveland suffered throughout his life with obesity and died of a heart attack at the age of 71 in 1908.
William Taft served as President from 1909-1913. He is known for being our most obese President. He stood 5’11” and weighed close to 340 lbs at the end of his Presidency. A year after leaving office he lost 80 lbs by eating a proper diet. His blood pressure dropped considerably because of his weight loss. Many experts also say this extended his life. He later went on to serve in the Supreme Court from 1921-1930. Taft died of cardiovascular disease in 1930 at the age of 72.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was a decorated World War II hero and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces. He began smoking two to three packs of cigarettes a day while at West Point, which he continued to do until poor health affected him as President. He was also a regular drinker. Eisenhower served as President from 1953-1961. From 1955 until his death in 1969 he suffered seven heart attacks and a stroke.
Bill Clinton served as President from 1993-2001. He suffered from obesity and in 2004 had quadruple bypass surgery. In 2010 he complained of chest pains and had two coronary stents placed in his heart. He has since adopted a vegan diet to maintain a healthy weight.
Here are the lessons we can take away from these 4 Presidents to reduce our risk of heart disease:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get plenty of physical activity
- Stop smoking
- Reduce alcohol consumption
We can use the example from past Presidents as a reminder, that heart disease can affect everybody. By taking measures to change our habits, we can impact our health and reduce our risks for heart disease.