The Checkup: Guys, Obama Might Outlive You

A researcher crunched the numbers on presidential life expectancy.

• Presidents seem to age faster than the average Joe during their time in office, but does being President of the United States actually shorten your lifespan? One guy—a professor of public health at the University of Illinois in Chicago—found out recently, after charting presidential lifespans and comparing them to the expected lifespans of men their age when they were inaugurated. Got that? The chart here makes his methodology a bit easier to understand. Anyway, he found that presidents actually do pretty well for themselves, insofar as most live well beyond the anticipated life expectancy—some, like John Adams, James Madison and Harry S. Truman, by more than 20 years. Lyndon B. Johnson was the only president in recent history to die younger than anticipated (by 4.6 years) when he died of a heart attack in 1973. Read more here at USA Today.

• Remember the soda tax Mayor Nutter proposed earlier this year and that city council swiftly rejected? A study out of Iowa State University found that a “sin tax,” like the soda one, could actually be a good tactic for trimming waistlines—so long as it’s the manufacturers who get hit with the additional cost. Check out this quote from TIME:

“What you’re trying to do is apply the tax as close as possible to the thing you’re trying to change,” says [Helen] Jensen, [one of the economists who worked on the study]. In this case that means the recipe, not the shopper’s choices.

So in other words, if you force manufacturers to pay more to produce higher-calorie drinks, it’ll drive them to make their products healthier (or at least, with fewer calories) from the get-go. It’s an interesting argument, anyway. Read more about the study here.

• Here’s confirmation of what you already know: A new study found that adults who meet or exceed the recommended exercise guidelines (150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week) were less likely to report feeling sleepy during the day. So there’s your proof—now go hit the gym.