What the Presidents Ate: Bill Clinton


A nutritionist might sum up Bill Clinton’s taste in food with a single expression: junk food. He was said to have gained 30 pounds during his first presidential compaign in 1992, topping out at over 200 pounds before it was over, and looking decidedly pudgy. Famously, he was pictured during the campaign downing Big Macs with great relish (and we don’t mean Special Sauce).

But foodies are likely to be kinder in their attitude toward the president’s diet, or lack of it. He was culinarily in love with some of the South’s more venerated vernacular eateries, including Sim’s Bar-B-Q in Little Rock, Arkansas, where his favorite feed ran to sliced pork with plenty of fat, sliced beef, mayo potato salad, mayo coleslaw, and baked beans.

Other things he adored included cheeseburgers with chopped jalapeños, chicken enchiladas, chicken fried steak, and Egg McMuffins, according to a disapproving assessment by Marian Burros in a 1992 New York Times article, subtitled “Jack Sprat He’s Not.” She also reported that he was allergic to chocolate and milk, and preferred carrot cake — a dessert that included neither — for his dessert.

Clinton was also an inveterate snacker, and liked to eat while walking around, even when he was dining in the White House.

Now see what George Washington ate.