06/10/2008 02:01 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Would You Vote For Obama If He Was Obese?

I'm extremely curious about what you think about this issue. I was trying to think back to a time when we had an obese president. I couldn't. Let me just say that I am terrible at history but my husband, who is excellent, thinks the last rotund president was Hoover. That was 1930 and when I looked up images of Hoover, he didn't look obese to me.

So my question to you is; if everything else was the same, except that Obama was obese, would you vote for him? If he had a significant weight problem, would it affect your feelings toward him? Would those feelings influence your vote and why?

As an eating disorder therapist, I am in the trenches with people who battle their weight everyday. I also live in Los Angeles, aka Hollywood. Here I believe there is more than the normal amount of importance placed upon looks and specifically, weight. We cast Arnold Schwarzenegger as our governor, after all. He looks good on camera, seems to know his lines and, well, he's Conan the Barbarian! Who else would we want in office?

I remember clearly seeing Bill Clinton jogging with the Secret Service when he was in office. He gained some weight during his Presidency and had to work to keep it down. He was never significantly overweight though and certainly never obese. Funny, but I can't think of one image of Hillary in workout wear.

When it comes to Obama, he has many things going for him. The fact that he is young and fit, certainly play into his appeal. I have seen many images of Barack playing basketball on the campaign trail. I think he wants us to see that he is fit and ready to lead. But what if he was fat and everything else about him was the same? Would he have even gotten the nomination? If he did get the nomination, would he beat McCain? I'm curious about what you think. Let me know.

If you would like to participate in the research for Irene's new book about the process of weight loss, please go to and take the survey.