Tom Hanks, Diabetes and YoYo Dieting


Tom Hanks’ films have grossed more than $4.2 billion in the United States and Canada, and more than $8.4 billion worldwide. He is the highest grossing actor of all-time with an average of $107 million per film. Seventeen of his films have grossed more than $100 million.

Hanks has had high blood sugar levels on and off since he was 36 years old, and he was diagnosed as being diabetic in 2013 at age 57. A major cause of his diabetes was having to gain or lose large amounts of weight for films, such as Oscar-winning “Castaway” in 2000 and “A League Of Their Own” in 1992. He plans never again to take roles that require drastic weight change and has stated publicly, “I’ve talked to a number of actors who have gained weight for roles and — just out of the sheer physical toll on one’s knees and shoulders — no one wants to do it again.” Other stars who have become diabetic include Halle Berry, Paula Deen, Larry King, Nick Jonas and Sherri Sheppard. Hanks used pizza as his main food to gain weight, with huge amounts of fat from cheese and other toppings, and sugar from the flour crust.

Childhood, Education and Career
Tom was born in Concord, California in 1956, to a father who was a cook and a mother who was a hospital worker. His parents divorced in 1960 and he lived with his father. He was a “bible-toting evangelical teenager” and acted in school plays, including “South Pacific”, while at Skyline High School in Oakland CA. He studied acting at Chabot College in Hayward CA and then transferred to California State University at Sacramento. In 1979, at age 23, he moved to New York City and made his first film. He then starred as Kip Wilson on the ABC television show “Bosom Buddies”. From there on, it was one hit movie after another. In 2013, at age 56, he made his Broadway debut, starring in Nora Ephron’s “Lucky Guy”. He was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

He married twice, first to actress Samantha Lewes from 1978 to 1987, and then to actress Rita Wilson from 1988 to the present. He has a deep conscience about social issues and has strongly supported environmental causes, alternative fuels, and same-sex marriages.

How Gaining and Losing Weight Can Lead to Diabetes
Every time you lose weight, you lose both fat and muscle. However, when you gain weight by overeating, you gain only fat. So with every rise or drop in weight, you are fatter than you were previously.

Having excess fat in your liver causes high blood sugar levels, a condition that affects more than 50 percent of North Americans. You can find out if you have a fatty liver with a simple, safe and relatively inexpensive test called a liver sonogram. Your liver controls your blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin drives sugar from your bloodstream into your liver. When your blood sugar level drops too low, your liver releases sugar from its cells into the bloodstream. However, when you have a fatty liver, your liver cannot accept sugar from your bloodstream. Instead it releases sugar from its cells to raise blood sugar levels even higher.

What Causes a Fatty Liver?
High rises in blood sugar causes fat to be deposited in your liver. When blood sugar levels rise, your liver can use the sugar immediately for energy or store a small amount in your liver and muscles. All the remaining sugar is converted to a fat called triglycerides, a small amount is used for energy and the rest is stored in cells in your body, primarily the liver. As you keep on getting high rises in blood sugar, more and more fat is stored in your liver until you have so much fat in your liver that your liver stops accepting sugar from your bloodstream to cause blood sugar levels to rise very high, leading to diabetes.

When blood sugar levels rise too high, sugar can stick to the outer membranes of every type of cell in your body. There the sugar is converted by a series of chemical reactions to sorbitol which destroys the cell. This is how high blood sugar levels can cause dementia, heart attacks, arteriosclerosis, strokes, impotence, certain cancers and all of the other consequences of diabetes..

What You Can Learn from Tom Hanks
• Avoid overweight and yoyo dieting
• Eat lots of vegetables and fruits
• Avoid sugared drinks and sugar-added foods, and restrict other refined carbohydrates such as foods made from flour (bakery products, pastas)
• Avoid red meat (blocks insulin receptors).
• Avoid fried foods (contain Advanced Glycation End products that raise blood sugar levels)
• Exercise (converts sugar to energy instead of storing it in your body primarily as fat)
• Keep blood levels of hydroxy vitamin D above 75 nmol/L (low levels of vitamin D block insulin receptors)

Tom Hanks
Born July 9, 1956