New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has taken a lot of flack for his weight—from jokes on late-night TV to serious criticism from health experts. Still, it was a shock when the possible presidential hopeful announced this week that he underwent weight-loss surgery earlier this year. Christie, 50, opted for gastric band (or lap band) surgery, which is less invasive than gastric bypass but often has less dramatic results. In the year following lap band surgery, patients lose an average of 50 pounds, versus 120 for gastric bypass. Christie has lost about 30 pounds in the three months since his procedure.
Though many people speculate Christie underwent the surgery as a preamble to running for president in 2016—his past campaigns have suggested that his weight could be an issue for voters—he says he was primarily motivated by his family. “In the grand scheme of things, it was looking at Mary Pat and the kids and going, ‘I have to do this for them, even if I don’t give a crap about myself,’” he told the New York Post.
Click here to find out if weight-loss surgery is right for you. We got expert advice from Dr. Scott A. Cunneen, director of bariatric surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.