Academy Award winning actor Tom Hanks, who is known for taking on roles requiring him to lose or gain significant amounts of weight, revealed yesterday on The Late Show with David Letterman, that he has officially been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He had been dealing with high blood sugar numbers since he was 36, and now at the age of 57, he has graduated to full-blown diabetes.
Of course, in his case, the weight fluctuations required of him to play different roles in his movies may be at least partially to blame. Hanks gained 30 pounds for his role as baseball coach Jimmy Dugan in A League of Their Own, only to drop another 55 pounds for Castaway eight years later, which according to Dr. Holly Phillips, CBS News medical contributor, threw the equilibrium of the body completely off. (He also attained emaciated status for his Oscar-winning AIDS patient and litigant in Philadelphia).
It is well-known that there is a strong association between type 2 diabetes and obesity, as evidenced by the rise in rates of both of these conditions in the past decade. Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset diabetes and mainly a disease of middle-aged adults, is now also affecting children. And it comes with a package of adverse outcomes affecting numerous regions of human physiology, including upon the nervous system, kidneys and vision; its most potent effect on shortening lifespan involves its increasing patients risk of heart attack and stroke.
ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava says, Clearly, with the news from Tom Hanks once again illustrating the link between diabetes and obesity, it is important to highlight the fact that these two conditions must be addressed together. Lifestyle changes, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet, which can prevent or reduce obesity and subsequently one s chances of developing diabetes in the first place, are important for the general public to consider when there is still a chance at prevention. It s also important to understand that genetic predisposition can play a role in this risk, and people with diabetes in their families should pay serious attention to trying to avoid it.
To read more about obesity, refer to our publication, Obesity and Its Health Effects.
In related news, if you re taking a break from work and you re looking to lose weight, you may want to check out some foodporn on Instagram. A new study from Brigham Young University in Utah found that this may elicit sensory boredom: a condition in which you become tired of the taste of the food before it is even consumed. Looking at these pictures (usually by searching for the hashtag #FoodPorn, among others) was also associated with less enjoyment of the food upon consumption.
ACSH s Ariel Savransky adds, I m not sure this is going to be the next new fad diet, but you can certainly find some great recipes and workouts to help you make some healthy lifestyle changes, and on that note: #GetOutAndRun #FightObesity and #EatHealthy.