Food & Drink

Rahm Emanuel Asks Chicago Residents To Go Vegan (VIDEO)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks about legislation and policies to reduce and prevent gun violence during a policy discussion at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, on January 14, 2013. Emanuel was a senior adviser to former US President Bill Clinton during the passage of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks about legislation and policies to reduce and prevent gun violence during a policy discussion at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, on January 14, 2013. Emanuel was a senior adviser to former US President Bill Clinton during the passage of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Famously fit Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, formerly Barack Obama's chief of staff, appeared on local TV affiliate WGN-TV last Friday to ask that his city's residents consider going vegan to improve their health.

Specifically, Emanuel endorsed a popular fitness and eating regime called the Engine 2 Diet, which was invented by former pro triathlete Rip Esselstyn. Watch the clip below to hear the mayor and Esselstyn's explanation of the diet and its benefits:

Emanuel explains that this diet could go a long way to helping reduce the city's obesity rate. Statistics for Chicago are hard to come by, but the obesity rate in Illinois has been rising and currently stands at 27.7 percent, the 23rd-highest of any state.

Back when Emanuel was on President Obama's staff, he was notorious for confronting unruly lawmakers in the showers at the Congressional gym and berating them until he got his way. As mayor, he can't exactly go around delivering naked harangues to overweight residents, so convincing famously carnivorous Chicagoans to go vegan could be a challenge.

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