Tom Hanks

Name:
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks
Date of birth:
July 9, 1956
Hometown:
Concord, USA
Diabetes Type:
Type 2

Tom Hanks is one of the most famous actors in history, having stamped his name on the Hollywood role of honour having won no less than two Oscars and four Golden Globes.

In 2013, Tom revealed, on the American talk show the ‘Late Show’, presented by David Letterman, that he had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Tom Hanks saw diabetes coming

Forrest Gump was one of Tom’s most enduring roles, for which he won the 1994 Oscar for best actor. Within the film Forrest delivers the iconic line: "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

In Tom’s case, he’d clearly been reading the card that went with the chocolates as Tom was aware, long before he was diagnosed, that he was likely to develop the condition, having had blood glucose levels at the upper end of normal for over 20 years.

When Tom was diagnosed, in 2013, his doctor told him: “You know those high blood sugar numbers you’ve been dealing with since you were 36, well you’ve graduated. You’ve got type 2 diabetes, young man.”

More to diabetes than weight

Tom’s diabetes underlines the fact that there’s more to type 2 diabetes than obesity alone.

A number of the roles that Tom fulfilled involved gaining some weight, notably a near two stone (13kg) weight gain for ‘A League of Their Own’, but his gains in weight were not long term, with other roles such as Castaway seeing Tom lose three and a half stone (25kg).

Tom states that, despite not being consistently heavy, gaining and losing large amounts of weight for film roles is likely to have been a factor. The actor has cited examples such as the fact that when he needed to gain weight, he was living on junk food and taking very little exercise.

However, the Oscar winner feels that diabetes had always been written into his destiny: “I think I was genetically inclined to get it and I think it goes back to a lifestyle I've been leading since I was probably seven, as opposed to 36.”

Since being diagnosed, Tom has reduced his body weight and has vowed not to take roles that would involve large fluctuations in his weight.

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