Republican denies stomach surgery is Presidential play

Governor Christie seen at a New Jersey zoo last month. Credit: ABACA

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie underwent lap band surgery in February to reduce the size of his stomach, a spokesman confirmed.

A prominent Republican seen as a possible 2016 contender for the White House, Christie told the New York Post that his decision to undergo the procedure - which limits the amount of food the stomach can hold - was motivated by his family's concern for his health and not political ambition.

"This is a hell of a lot more important to me than running for president," Christie, a father of four, said at a news conference in Newark. "This is about my family's future."

He added that he had planned to undergo the procedure last year but it had been delayed by a need to deal with Hurricane Sandy, which caused devastation in his state last October.