NEW YORK – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie underwent secret lap-band surgery in February.
The Republican said concerns from his wife and four children that he was at risk of a heart attack prompted him to have the procedure, the New York Post reported.
“For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them," said Christie, who has struggled with his weight for two decades.
Spokesman Michael Drewniak confirmed to AP the operation was performed in February and involved a tube placed around the governor's stomach to restrict food intake.
Christie rejected suggestions the effort to lose weight was motivated by the 2016 presidential campaign, yet it did not stop speculation from critics and commentators.
Being overweight could be a huge liability in a national campaign, but if by next year Christie is suddenly looking slim and fit, he might look like a front runner to become president, said the Atlantic Wire.