President Barack Obama wants to set the record straight: He doesn't really eat exactly seven almonds each night.

Obama tells NBC's "Today Show" that the legend of his disciplined eating habits grew out of a joke that MichelleObama told former White House chef Sam Kass.

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Kass was quoted recently in a New York Times story saying Obama's only late night snack is seven lightly saltedalmonds. Kass said he and Michelle joke that it's "not six. Not eight. Always seven almonds."

But Obama said friends called him up after the story appeared to say "this is a little weird" and that he had to explain it was really a joke.

Obama says he's careful about avoiding sodas, chips and cake, but he's not obsessive enough to count his almonds.