WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama is in "excellent" health and has given up cigarettes, but still resorts to nicotine gum every now and again, his doctor said Thursday.
"All clinical data indicates that the president is currently healthy and that he will remain so for the duration of his Presidency," said Ronny Jackson, who supervised the president's periodic physical.
Obama, who will turn 53 on August 4, "eats a healthy diet, exercises daily, remains tobacco free, and only drinks alcohol occasionally and in moderation," Jackson reported.
Nor did Jackson find any issues of concern in Obama's heart rate, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure, according to the results made public "with President Obama's consent." But under medications, the doctor reported: "Nicotine gum: occasional use." Obama's gum-chewing habit, aimed at curbing nicotine cravings and which he occasionally indulges openly in public, has sparked surprise, especially during the president's overseas travels.
In the most recent example, on June 6, the president was chewing during ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day in France.
The medical exams were conducted last month, updating the previous battery of testing completed in October 2011, said the White House doctor, who added that the president's vaccines are all up-to-date.