Iconic actor Tom Hanks tells Late Show host David Letterman he’s accepted his type 2 diabetes diagnosis and “it’s controllable.”
Tom Hanks has been told to watch his health for years, including his weight and his blood sugar levels.
When he recently went to see his doctor, the 57-year-old two-time Oscar-winning actor received a bit of a shock.
As Hanks told David Letterman Monday night on The Late Show, his doctor announced, “You’ve graduated. You’ve got type 2 diabetes, young man.”
Hanks said he’s been dealing with blood sugar levels for years, a condition known as prediabetes. His disease has progressed to type 2 diabetes, which is when the body does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.
Other celebrities who’ve announced they have type 2 diabetes includes Larry King, Drew Carey, George Lucas, Halle Berry, and others.
Hanks’ doctor told him to watch his weight and strive for the weight he was in high school. Hanks joked that it was highly unlikely because he weighed 96 pounds in high school and “most of that was that big white Afro that I wore back in the ’70s.”
“And I said to her, ‘Well I’m gonna have Type 2 diabetes,'” he said.
Weight, inactivity, family history, age, and prediabetes are all risk factors for diabetes.
Hanks, like many other actors, has dramatically changed his weight for roles. His most noticeable change was in 2000’s Cast Away, for which he lost 55 pounds to appear as if he’d been stranded on an island for a year.
His most recent role was Capt. Richard Phillips, a merchant mariner whose ship was taken over by Somali pirates in 2009. The movie Captain Phillips opens this weekend.
In no way looking under the weather on Letterman’s set, Hanks described being optimistic about the future and how managing his condition will fit into his life.
“It’s controllable,” Hanks said. “Something’s going to kill us all, Dave.”