Donald Trump went on quacky Dr. Oz’s TV show Thursday to talk about his health, and somehow, the weirdest number to come up had nothing to do with his testosterone (though, yes, that too was discussed).
Instead, it was Trump’s claim, through his doctor’s letter, that he is 6-foot-3.
Most everyone else puts him at 6-foot-2. That’s what Google says. That’s what Donald Trump: His Worth, Work, and World, by the staff of Forbes, says. That’s what the probably reliable CelebsMemoir.com says. In fairness, Bing.com suggests 6-foot-3, and Trump himself doth protest that media outlets don’t give him the inch. But look at that photo up there of Trump next to Jeb Bush. Jeb is 6-foot-3. Donald is … not.
Why does this matter? My colleague Jeremy Samuel Faust suggested a theory to me. It has to do with the other disputed number floating around prior to the show’s airing: his weight, which the doctor’s note put at 236 pounds, though some reports suggested he’s 267 pounds. At 6-foot-3, 236 pounds, his body mass index is a convenient 29.5—overweight but just a biscuit shy of obese (BMI of 30). At 6-foot-2, 236 pounds, he’s at 30.3—obese. BMI is a worthless measure of physical health, but maybe in this case it tells us a little something about a man’s self-regard. Is it possible that Trump’s doctor added the extra inch so that his patient, who is not exactly lacking in vanity, would not be “officially” obese? Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to.