Obama in 'excellent' health, still using nicotine gum: doctor

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[March 09, 2016]  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is in excellent health thanks to daily exercise and a good diet, driving his cholesterol level lower than it was a year and a half ago, his doctor said on Tuesday.

Obama, 54, a former smoker, continues to use nicotine gum once in a while and takes medication for occasional acid reflux symptoms, the president's physician, Ronny Jackson, said in a memo released by the White House.

The results from Obama's physical examination last month showed that his total cholesterol level fell to 188 from 213 in May 2014. His weight dropped to 175 pounds (79 kg) from 180 over that period. Obama is 6 feet 1-1/2 inches (1.87 metres) tall.

"The president's overall health remains excellent and is improved from his last formal assessment," Jackson wrote. Obama's last assessment was released in June 2014.

"His adherence to a healthy diet and a consistent exercise program has resulted in an improved lean body mass and lower cholesterol level. All clinical data indicates that the president is currently very healthy and that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency."

Obama leaves office in January 2017.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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