During an appearance on "The Dr. Oz Show" last month, Donald Trump handed over a doctor’s note describing the GOP presidential nominee as 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds. Those numbers placed him pretty heavily in the "overweight" category, according to the body mass index, and precariously close (one inch or seven pounds) to being "obese."
An army of social media skeptics piled on.
The biggest lie of the campaign so far is the one where Trump''s doctor says he only weighs 236 pounds #TrumpkinSpice
— Denis Leary (@denisleary) September 18, 2016
Trump, of course, is an obsessive critic of people he finds "fat." How does he measure up under the glare of those who size up others for a living? We asked five experts — a former police chief, a well-known fitness trainer, a dietician, a master tailor and a 60-year carnival veteran — to take a closer look. First, there's the matter of Trump's height. Photos raise doubt about his stature claims. Consider this photo of him next to the 6-foot-4 Bill O’Reilly.
O'Reilly seems notably taller. So how does Trump compare with Jeb Bush, who also claims to be 6-foot-3?
Looks about the same, right? There's also this photo with quarterback Mark Sanchez:
— Truther Dare (@truther_dare) April 3, 2016
Then again, older people shrink — men an inch or more after age 30. Let’s give Trump the benefit of the doubt that he was taller as a younger man and now, at 70, has settled a bit.
Based on the body mass index, anything under 6-foot-3 would mean he's in "obese" territory — if he indeed weighs 236 pounds.
But does he? Here are the three photos we sent to our brave expert panel — others we reached out to shied away from this request — even as we encouraged them to check Trump out on TV:
The panel's verdict? We may need a scale to settle this.
Norm Stamper, a 34-year police veteran who retired as Seattle's chief in 2000, is now an author and speaker:
"As [Trump is] getting off the plane, for me that’s the most revealing," Stamper said by phone. "His gut’s hanging out here. He’s always wearing a dark suit, which is slimming, I guess. If a police officer were asking me to describe a suspect, I would say that he looks to be about 250 pounds and maybe more, maybe 260."
"I would, of course, be forced to describe his hair, because it’s a very distinguishing characteristic. So you’d have to use some imagination. I can’t tell if it’s combed forward or back — or both. I would describe it as a swirling haircut."
"And I’m not trying to be cruel, even though I disagree with his politics. But he definitely looks bigger than 236."
Gunnar Peterson, a Los Angeles-based personal trainer, has clients such as the Kardashians, Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara:
"I met [Trump] 30 years ago, and he is an imposing figure," Peterson wrote in an email. "I think he carries the weight well. I have heard he does not work out, which is lamentable in my opinion."
"My guess is he’s between 228-242 lbs. Or, 102.25-108.5 kgs for your international readers. We can all improve. With that said, he’s doing a GREAT job keeping fit for this election. He always answers the bell. The rigors of his travel and campaign schedule are other worldly."
Ray De Frates recently retired after 62 years as a carnival "guesser," pegging people's weight, age and birth month:
"If I were to guess the man, I would guess 252 or 255 pounds,” De Frates said by phone. “I first relate it to my weight, and my wife’s weight. ... And I weigh 252.”
“He’s taller, of course, than I am” — the 75-year-old De Frates stands 5-foot-9 — “but it’s not just the height, it’s how he carries it and how he carries his clothes. His clothes, he wears a little loosely. That tells me he doesn’t want his clothes to show too much."
"He wears them kind of loosely and baggy for a guy with all that money. You think he’d look like he’d be coming out of GQ magazine.”
Ihsan Dura, master tailor at Linea Pitti in Washington, has more than half a century in the business:
"What I see is someone with a minimum 48 [coat] size, waist is about 43 to 44. Weight is at least 240, maybe more," Dura said by phone.
“He’s a big guy. It’s a decent suit. There's puckering on the back because [he has a] fuller shoulder, fuller back, and he’s a little hunched in it — like a hunchback. I think [the suit is] off the rack. If it’s custom-made it should perfectly fit him. Look at the armhole, under the left arm — very baggy."
Dean Ornish, cardiologist, author and founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute, is credited with persuading Bill Clinton to become a vegan:
Ornish would not speculate on Trump's exact weight. But as he noted by email, “Even more important than Donald Trump’s weight is how unhealthy he looks. I was at the debate last week at Hofstra [University] and had the chance to see him in person. He has said on many occasions that he is on a fast-food diet of burgers and fried chicken and French fries, and he looked like it — unhealthy complexion, puffy, pasty skin, sweating a lot.
"He looked like Morgan Spurlock at the end of 'Super Size Me.'”