Bush Adds a Few Pounds, in Good Health After Annual Physical Exam

After a nearly four-hour physical exam, President Bush's doctors on Tuesday pronounced him in good health and "fit for duty," the White House said.

Bush indicated he was happy about the results of his physical — except for the weight gain it showed.

"Doing fine. Health's fine. Probably ate too many birthday cakes," said the president, who celebrated his 60th birthday on numerous occasions last month.

The nearly 6 foot president has gained about 5 pounds since last year's physical, White House press secretary Tony Snow said. The exam was at the National Naval Medical Center in suburban Washington.

"The doctors once again have found the president fit for duty and have every reason to expect that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency," Snow said.

A fuller report from Bush's doctors was to be released by the White House later Tuesday. But Snow said that the president's resting heart rate was 46, which is down from 47 at his last exam last July and is in the range of a well-trained athlete, and that his total cholesterol of 174 was his best ever. Below 200 is a desirable cholesterol level, and Bush's was 178 last year.

"I'll direct you toward the test results, but he's still healthier than we are," Snow said.

Bush remarked that the Bethesda hospital, where he usually undergoes his annual exam, is an "amazing operation."

A December 2004 physical showed Bush had gained 6 pounds since the summer of 2003 — a development he blamed on eating too many doughnuts during his re-election campaign. The gain prompted Bush, an avid mountain bike rider, to a renewed commitment to exercise and fitness. He was rewarded last July with a loss of eight pounds to weight 191.6 pounds.