In Brief

Donald Trump’s weird eating habits

Former White House doctor had to give president vegetables by stealth

A former doctor to Donald Trump has admitted he used to sneak cauliflower into the president’s mashed potatoes in a bid to keep him healthy.

Dr Ronny Jackson, a retired Navy rear admiral who is running for Congress in Texas, said one of his regrets was leaving his post as White House physician last year before he could fully implement the diet and exercise plan he had for the president.

“The exercise stuff never took off as much as I wanted it to,” he told The New York Times. “But we were working on his diet. We were making the ice cream less accessible, we were putting cauliflower into the mashed potatoes.”

During his time as doctor to Trump, Jackson said his goal was to help the president lose ten to 15 pounds (4.5-6.8kg). He had planned to bring an exercise bike into the White House to help Trump get fit.

However, at his latest physical this month, Trump had gained four pounds, putting him into the obese range of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s body mass index (BMI), reports Politico.

Jackson served three presidents, but first made major headlines in 2018 when he said Trump had “incredibly good genes” and “if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old”.

The president’s diet has been ridiculed as childish and unhealthy. Here is what he eats and some of the weird ways he does it.

He didn’t eat breakfast on the campaign trail

According to his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, the president would usually go 14 to 16 hours without eating, then have a full McDonald’s dinner of two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, and a small chocolate shake - a total of 2,430 calories.

“[Ensuring] the orchestrating and timing of Mr. Trump’s meals was as important as any other aspect of his march to the presidency,” Lewandowski said.

As for what those meals looked like, well, “on Trump Force One there were four major food groups: McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza, and Diet Coke”, he adds.

The Washington Post claims the president’s in-flight snack collection has also included Vienna Fingers, potato chips, pretzels and many packs of Oreos because Trump, a renowned germaphobe, would not eat from a previously opened pack.

His former bodyguard has also described how the president requested that White House chefs recreate a Quarter Pounder for him.

He likes chain restaurants because he is afraid of being poisoned

Trump’s concerns about restaurant cleanliness have been well documented. His long-standing love for fast food is tied to a fear of being poisoned, Michael Wolff writes in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

Trump “had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s - nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely premade”, Wolff reports.

Business Insider says Trump has previously applauded fast-food chains for their cleanliness.

“One bad hamburger, you can destroy McDonald’s. One bad hamburger and you take Wendy’s and all these other places and they’re out of business,” Trump said at a 2016 town hall meeting. “I like cleanliness, and I think you’re better off going there than maybe someplace that you have no idea where the food is coming from.”

He drinks 12 Diet Cokes a day

Trump is famously teetotal; however he doesn't like tea or coffee either, instead drinking up to 12 Diet Cokes a day.

Fortune says he even has a special button on his desk in the Oval Office to summon household staff when he wants another fix.

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He eats his steak with ketchup...

Trump’s favourite meal is steak, but while most people choosing to spend $50 on a slice of meat would want to savour the flavour, Trump prefers his cooked very well done, and served with a side-ordering of ketchup.

According to The New York Times, diners at the White House can normally expect “well-done steak, salad slathered with Roquefort dressing and bacon crumbles, tureens of gravy and massive slices of dessert with extra ice cream”.

...and KFC with a knife and fork

During the presidential campaign, Trump was ridiculed for tweeting a picture of himself eating KFC chicken with a knife and fork.

But this does not appear to have been a one-off, with numerous reports claiming he regularly eats fried chicken, as well as pizza, with cutlery.

When quizzed on this unusual eating habit, Trump said: “I don’t walk around with forks and knives and, frankly it was very comfortable. Plus this way you can take the top of the pizza off and you're not just eating the crust. I like not to eat the crust so we keep the weight down at least as good as possible.”

This marks a “dramatic policy U-turn, considering he appeared in the first TV ads for Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust”, says The Daily Telegraph.

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