With Presidents’ Day just around the corner, you’ll probably see some interesting presidential facts and trivia across the internet and news outlets. Everything from what stories about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are actually true versus myth, what material George Washington’s dentures were made from, and the verified place of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, along with other factoids, pop up this time of year.
But here’s a question you might not have thought about. Where do our presidents rank in terms of physical health?
Who has been considered the healthiest president? The least healthy?
Those answers might just surprise you.
According to a recent report, our healthiest president to date is…wait for it…
Rutherford B. Hayes.
A refresher course on President Hayes. He was our 19th president, serving from 1877-1881. He had the challenge of helping the country continue to work through the wounds left from the Civil War. During his campaign, he was supported by Mark Twain.
Why is he considered our healthiest president?
While in office, alcohol and tobacco were banished from the White House. He stuck to a healthy diet and weight. And according to Hayes’s medical records, his only physical ailment was a case of poison ivy.
John Quincy Adams comes in a #5. He took long walks for exercise, about 6 miles every morning, and was also a distance swimmer. Swimming as a workout was extremely unusual at the time. He also was a very light eater.
Grover Cleveland comes in last, with significant issues with his weight. He also had bouts with typhoid fever, jaw cancer, hearing loss, kidney inflammation, gout, and a heart attack.
What about our traditional honorees for Presidents’ Day, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln?
Abraham Lincoln comes in 10th in the report, with a health grade of B. He is listed as a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and is reputed to have only lost one wrestling match.