March 2nd, 2010
10:57 PM ET
10 years ago

'Don't tell Michelle,' Obama says


The president had Southern food in Georgia Tuesday and told reporters "Don't tell Michelle." (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

(CNN) – After his first presidential physical found an elevated cholesterol level, sweet tea and fried chicken are probably not what the doctor ordered. But that didn't stop President Obama from indulging in a lunch of Southern cuisine Tuesday in Savannah, Georgia, according to a pool report.

The president joked with reporters to keep quiet about his meal at Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room, a local restaurant whose menu includes macaroni and cheese, collard greens, fried chicken and biscuits, among other traditional Southern dishes.

"I don't want any lectures about my cholesterol," he said, according to the pool report. "Don't tell Michelle."

Obama's Southern meal comes two days after his annual checkup and a doctor's recommendation that he alter his eating habits in order to help reduce an elevated "bad" cholesterol level.

"Recommend dietary modification to reduce LDL cholesterol below 130," Dr. Jeff Kuhlman, a Navy captain and physician to the president wrote in his report. The report lists Obama's LDL level at 138.

The result of his first physical since taking office has put the president in a bit of an awkward position since first lady Michelle Obama recently launched a national campaign against childhood obesity last month. As part of her campaign the first lady is urging Americans to drink more water and eat smaller portions.

In the president's defense, the first lady didn't explicitly say anything about sweet tea.

Related: Obama indulges in pie, occasional cigarette, spokesman says

Filed under: Extra • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Sheryl

    It's OK once in a while, wish I had some!!!!!!

    March 2, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Nini

    Tell me why this was such an important news?

    March 2, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Andy

    JUST GREAT 25% of America is either out of work or under employed and the President is joking about what he eats.How much did his Savannah,Ga trip cost the taxpayers for his hollywood photo shoot.Who elected this Clown?Send Carter back,Carter is now the 2nd worst President.

    March 2, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Oh right. Who cares? Like he's the only one with elevated HDL/LDL levels that cheats.

    March 2, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. Christine Jennings

    I lived in Savannah, just down the street from Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House. Food is family style – you pass everything around the table – just like home. You can eat as much as you want, and when you finish, you take your dishes into the kitchen – just like home.

    Everyone in Savannah knows that there is NO cholesterol in Mrs. Wilkes' fried chicken, or the macaroni & cheese, or the butter piled high on those fluffy white biscuits.

    I'm glad our President got a good healthy Southern meal today!

    March 2, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |

    Don't worry about the fried chicken; keep an eye on all of that PORK he is engorging himself and, unwillingly, the rest of us with.

    March 2, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  7. Say what????

    Now that looks yummy.

    March 2, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. Voted for Obama and proud of it

    And so the reporters here on CNN are reporting it to the whole world, even though the President specifically asked them not to tell Michelle? I knew CNN had a right-wing bias. Blatantly ignoring a Presidential request and trying to him in trouble with his own wife. When will the right-wingers learn to stay out of the affairs of the President's private life? Conservatives always want to interfere in the business of a loving couple.

    March 2, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. Charlie in Maine

    Barack Barack... Don't you know it is always the "cover-up "that gets you in trouble. Bon Appetit.

    March 2, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. annie against biased news

    bozo wasn't making a joke – he is a joke!

    March 2, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. MC

    I would be more worried about the smoking!!

    March 2, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Born and raised in the South but collard greens and that nasty sweet potato pie that I am supposed to like, is not ever happening.

    Collards are weeds and even if I liked sweet potatoes(God meant for potatoes to be fried and only used as an instrument to get ketchup to your pie hole) that marshmellow topping is gross!

    March 2, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Hmmm...once a week won't kill you to eat fatty foods. But stop that nasty cigarette habit.

    March 2, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  14. Desmond

    Normal guy. Quite refreshing. Most unusual for Capitol Hill.

    March 2, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  15. Donnatella

    Obama, I hope you enjoy your meal, you deserve it, we all slip up everynow and then.

    March 2, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Lee

    What is Mrs. Obama's cholesterol level?

    March 2, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. jamie

    Well I guess Michele will be the only one who doesn't know.

    March 2, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. MsDad

    This was obviously written and proofread by a Northerner. "Collared" greens?? HAHAHAHA!!!

    March 2, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. Meriska

    He is such a fool. The "don't tell michelle" comment was ignorance at its best.

    March 2, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. MDC

    macaroni and cheese, collared greens, fried chicken and biscuits

    Set a place for me, yum!

    March 2, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. Chelsea

    I am so glad that our president is an actual human being. He does things like the rest of us. This entire article reminds me of something my Grandpa would do. In fact, I am quite sure he HAS done it!

    March 2, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. Jattoo

    Michelle Obama; THE PEOPLE'S FIRST LADY. Keep up the good job and high personality you maintain for our dear president Obama.

    March 2, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. Leslie B., Indianapolis

    Yeah, but how does she feel about smoking? Great example for the kids, Prez! Especially the two who live with you!

    March 2, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  24. Katie in NC

    Tell the 1st Lady,maybe she will ground him and keep him at home,save the tax payer some money,he will not be flying around and doing his hollywood photo shoots.

    March 2, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  25. socalgal

    Dear Mr. Prez – Please eat to overconsumption – and often!

    March 2, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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