Aussie leader is battling the bulge

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd revealed on Wednesday that he is battling the bulge, while his deputy, Julia Gillard, was stunned to be voted one of the country’s sexiest women.

Rudd said it is difficult to maintain a fitness regime while coping with the responsibilities of office after newspaper photographs revealed how the prime-ministerial paunch has grown since he won power last November.

Rudd (50) said that since moving to the seat of power in Canberra he can no longer manage the regular trips to the gym he made when he was an opposition leader based in Brisbane.

“Now I’m down here, it’s a bit harder to manage when you’re bouncing around the countryside,” he told commercial radio.

Rudd’s predecessor, John Howard, decked himself out in a green-and-gold Wallabies tracksuit to take a brisk walk virtually every morning during his 11 years in power, sometimes finding protesters heckling him on his route.

The current prime minister said he is also trying to take steps to keep in shape. “I tend to walk a lot, at different times of each day, depending on the schedule,” he said. “I also swim several times a week and I gym whenever I can.”

Meanwhile, Gillard has been named one of Australia’s sexiest women in a poll conducted by the men’s magazine Ralph. A bemused Gillard came second behind former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins in the vote.

“I think people don’t understand that I am probably two foot shorter than Jennifer Hawkins and double her body weight, so it’s been a very unusual result,” the 46-year-old redhead told commercial radio. “I would simply agree that Jennifer is a very attractive woman.” — AFP

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