N.J. Gov. Christie Underwent Weight-Loss Surgery In February

NPR | May 7, 2013 1:29 p.m.

Contributed By:

Eyder Peralta

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is surrounded by security and journalists in 2012.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is surrounded by security and journalists in 2012.

Getty Images, Chip Somodevilla

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose weight has been both joked about and treated as a real health concern, told The New York Post on Monday that he “secretly underwent lap-band stomach surgery [in February] to aggressively slim down for the sake of his wife and kids.”

“I’ve struggled with this issue for 20 years,” he told the Post. “For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them.”

During the 2008 presidential campaign, many pundits openly talked about Christie’s weight as a hinderance to the vice presidency and by extension the presidency. But Christie told the Post that the decision to undergo surgery wasn’t motivated by a potential White House run.

“It’s so much more important than that,” Christie said.

A Christie spokesman, by the way, confirmed the news to The New Jersey Star-Ledger. The paper followed up with a series of headlines, analyzing the surgery:

“Chris Christie’s weight has long been a public topic”

“N.J. lawmakers praise Christie’s surgery but won’t speculate on presidential implications”

“Christie chose a weight-loss procedure with fewer complications”

Back in 2011, NPR’s Carrie Kahn took a look at different weight loss surgeries. The bottom line, she reported, is that any surgery is “not a magic pill” for obese patients. Carrie reported, however, that more than 200,000 bariatric surgeries are performed annually.

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