Survey reveals views of Healthline readers on presidential fitness and whom they’d like to join for a run around the block.
More than three-quarters of Healthline readers want their presidential candidate to be in good shape.
And given a choice, more Healthline readers would jog with Democrat Hillary Clinton than any of the other current contenders for the White House.
Those are some of the results revealed in a survey of Healthline readers in mid-September.
Healthline queried 716 readers from September 16 to 22 about their health concerns, as well as about health issues related to the 2016 presidential election.
About 76 percent of those surveyed felt it was important for a presidential candidate to be fit and have good health habits.
Slightly more than 46 percent said this issue was very important to them, while 30 percent said it was important.
Another 19 percent said they hadn’t thought about the issue, while about 5 percent said it wasn’t important.
The opinions seem to be reflected in presidential elections.
The country hasn’t had a seriously overweight president since William Howard Taft took office in 1909 (Taft weighed more than 350 pounds when he was inaugurated).
Bill Clinton wasn’t obese, but he was at the very least pudgy in his first term. He was the subject of jokes about his weight, including some pointed barbs from David Letterman on his late-night talk show in the 1990s.
The 2016 presidential candidate with the most significant weight problem is Republican Chris Christie.
The New Jersey governor doesn’t disclose his weight, but at one point he was likely more than 300 pounds. In 2013, Christie underwent lap-band surgery and reportedly lost 100 pounds. Some political observers say he had the operation in anticipation of running for president.
Republican Mike Huckabee went on a strict diet in 2003 after learning he had type 2 diabetes. The former Arkansas governor lost more than 100 pounds and kept the weight off during his 2008 presidential campaign. He gained some of the weight back after 2011.
In the Healthline survey, readers were asked which 2016 presidential candidate they’d most like to go on a jog with.
The high scorer on that question was Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state was named by 24 percent of respondents.
The second highest vote getter was Republican Donald Trump. The billionaire business owner was selected by 18 percent of those who responded.
In third place was Democrat Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator was picked by 15 percent of those who answered.
However, none of those three candidates is especially known for lacing up their running shoes.
Most presidents have jogged since the running craze took off in the 1970s.
Jimmy Carter jogged frequently after taking office in 1977. Carter even participated in a 10K race in September 1979, but briefly collapsed from heat exhaustion.
His successor, Ronald Reagan, didn’t run. He was almost 70 when he was inaugurated in 1981. Reagan did have an interest in the outdoors — on several occasions, he was photographed chopping wood and riding horses at his ranch in California.
George H. W. Bush was an avid jogger while in office. Clinton often jogged, as did George W. Bush.
Clinton and Bush were also avid golfers. President Barack Obama plays golf frequently, but his passion is basketball. He even has a private court at the White House, where he regularly plays intense pickup games.
Healthline readers also consider health to be one of their top personal concerns.
Those surveyed were asked to name their top three sources of daily stress.
Finances came up on 72 percent of those ballots.
Second was personal health, selected by 61 percent of respondents.
Third was family at 47 percent, with work in fourth at 42 percent.
Next was world news/suffering at 22 percent and government/political-related news at 21 percent.
Romantic relationships were the least-common top stressor among respondents, at 17 percent.