NEW YORK — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has struggled with obesity for much of his adult life, underwent lap band surgery in February to reduce the size of his stomach, at the urging of his wife and children, his press secretary said on Tuesday.
Christie underwent the surgery in February, top aide Mike Drewniak confirmed in an email to Reuters.
Lap band, or gastric banding, surgery is a procedure in which a silicone tube is wrapped around the upper part of the stomach, making it smaller, and limiting the amount of food the stomach can hold.
Christie, a plain-spoken and popular governor who rejected aggressive appeals from fellow Republicans to run for president prior to the 2012 election, said Monday night that the decision was made for his family, not for his political ambitions.
“I know it sounds crazy to say that running for president is minor, but in the grand scheme of things, it was looking at Mary Pat and the kids and going, ‘I have to do this for them, even if I don’t give a crap about myself,’” Christie told the New York Post, which first reported the story.
“I’ve struggled with this issue for 20 years,” he said. “For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them.”
Christie told the New York Post that “a week or two ago, I went to a steakhouse and ordered a steak and ate about a third of it and I was full.”
In the past, Christie’s weight has been made an issue by his political opponents.
In 2009, then-Governor Jon Corzine ran an election ad in which he accused Christie of “throwing his weight around.”