by Max Brantley
Bill Clinton talks to the NY Times about his crusade for healthier children, his own current eating habits and even one of his early diet strategies.
“When I was a little boy, if you grew up in a place that was as poor as Arkansas was, it was generally believed that the best evidence of a baby’s health was how fat it was,” he said in an interview last week after announcing an effort to get junk food out of school vending machines. “My grandmother, who was a nurse, would have thought I was terribly anemic or something was wrong with me if I was normal. Now we know if you are normal size you are healthy.”
Variations on “I was a fat band boy who didn’t wear cool jeans” runs through the first 50 pages of his book, “My Life” (Random House, 2004).
His dieting efforts began in earnest when he was a teenager. “I designed a diet for myself one summer — high protein, low carb, a version of the Atkins and South Beach,” he said, adding hastily, “but I’m not trying to recommend it to anyone else.” He lost 20 pounds in one month, mainly, he said, because “I only ate one meal a day, between 1 p.m. and 6.”