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Letters from an obese president tell a familiar story of struggling with weight.
by Howard LeWine, M.D., Harvard Health Publications

William Howard Taft was America’s heaviest president. He would have preferred being seen and remembered for something else, and took steps to lose weight. Taft’s story of weight loss and regain, described in the Annals of Internal Medicine, sounds completely familiar today, more than 100 years later. Using correspondence and archival sources, Deborah Levine, an assistant professor at Providence College in Rhode Island, tells the story of Taft’s struggles with his weight.

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Levine DI.: Corpulence and correspondence: president william h. Taft and the medical management of obesity. Ann Intern Med. 2013 Oct 15;159(8):565-70.