Former President Bill Clinton discussed in an AARP profile how he became a vegan. Clinton, who was known during his presidency as an avid lover of McDonald’s, shifted his dietary passion to quinoa — and has given up all meat, fish, and dairy.
Clinton has been adhering to a vegan or mostly vegan diet since the beginning of 2010, according to AARP, when he suffered complications from the quadruple-bypass heart surgery he had in 2004. Following his doctor’s instructions, he researched alternative diets.
"I just decided that I was the high-risk person, and I didn't want to fool with this anymore. And I wanted to live to be a grandfather," Clinton told AARP. "So I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival." The result? Clinton has lost — and kept off — 30 pounds.
Clinton is dedicated to his vegan diet, especially in light of the positive change he’s felt himself, and feels that a vegetable-heavy diet could help Americans change the health problems they face. His public service organization, the Clinton Foundation, has focused on child obesity and Americans’ health and wellness as two crucial issues, and claims that reforms to “the way we consume food and what we consume” are necessary for the country’s well-being.
“You have to make a conscious decision to change for your own well-being, and that of your family and your country," he told AARP.