Presidential hopeful Christie loses six stone after lap-band surgery
Until recently, his name was always accompanied by epithets like "gargantuan" and "giant-girthed" but a year after Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey underwent lap-band surgery, those words no longer apply.
Mr Christie, a former front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, has refused to disclose his weight, but experts estimate that he has now lost six stone following the operation to limit the size of his stomach.
By comparing before-and-after photographs, experts commissioned by 'Politico' magazine said that Mr Christie's weight had dropped from 23 stone in 2011, to approximately 17 stone today.
"I've determined the BMI in lots of patients, and you get an impression for it, just the same way that all of us can look at somebody and probably estimate their height," David Katz from Yale University's School of Medicine said in explaining his estimate.
Mr Christie's obesity problem was considered the greatest political barrier in a run for the presidency, although that changed in January when his New Jersey administration was embroiled in a scandal over shutting down the world's busiest bridge in a political vendetta against a mayor.
Before the so-called "Bridgegate" affair Mr Christie had a nine-point lead in the RealClearPolitics rolling poll of potential 2016 Republican candidates.
Mr Christie is now three points behind Rand Paul, the libertarian Kentucky senator, Mike Huckabee, the Evangelical Christian talk-show host and Jeb Bush, the younger brother of President George W Bush.
However, Mr Christie has been drawing compliments in recent weeks, joking with members of the public over his budget for a fresh wardrobe to accommodate his newly svelte figure.
It makes a welcome change from the self-deprecating fat jokes that Mr Christie deployed before his surgery, most famously appearing on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' in February 2013 with a doughnut in his pocket. (© Daily Telegraph, London)