Tom Hanks Calls Himself a "Total Idiot" for Diet That Led to Type 2 Diabetes

"I thought I could avoid it by removing the buns from my cheeseburgers," he says

By Francesca Bacardi May 17, 2016 12:51 PMTags
Tom HanksPA Images/Sipa USA

Tom Hanks revealed that he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2013, but now he's looking back on his life and habits and realizing what led him to receive that medical news.

In a new interview with the Radio Times, the Oscar-winning actor, 59, says he should have taken better care of himself when he was younger. "I'm part of the lazy American generation that has blindly kept dancing through the party and now finds ourselves with a malady," he shares. "I was heavy. You've seen me in movies. You know what I looked like. I was a total idiot."

The Bridge of Spies star said he would try to keep a grip on his diet by making slight alterations to his meals, but it eventually turned out that it wouldn't be enough. "I thought I could avoid it by removing the buns from my cheeseburgers," he explains. "Well, it takes a little bit more than that."

But he won't be brought down by his diagnosis. Hanks is staying positive about his medical malady. "My doctor says if I can hit a target weight, I will not have Type 2 diabetes anymore," he says.

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When he revealed his diagnosis on The Late Show With David Letterman, Hanks explained his doctor told him he had to return to his weight from his teenage years. "My doctor said, 'Look, if you can weigh as much as you weighed in high school, you will essentially be completely healthy. You will not have Type 2 diabetes,'" he shared. "And then I said to her, 'Well, then, I'm gonna have Type 2 diabetes, because there is no way I can weigh as much as I did in high school.'"

Hanks also considers himself blessed for becoming a dad at such a young age because it helped him avoid getting sucked into the Hollywood party scene. Now a father of four, Hanks said he didn't become the typical "s--tfaced artist."

"I'm lucky," he says. "I was in charge of offspring at a very early age, so I didn't have the luxury of being able to get stoned a lot, and I never drank too much. 

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"I was never what I call a s--tfaced artist," he adds. "I thought it was more fun to be seeing what was going on. I did my share, but it didn't become a habit."

Shortly after admitting his health news, Hanks told an audience at the BFI London Film Festival that he would no longer be willing to gain or lose weight for roles. "I've talked to a number of actors who have gained weight for roles, and just the sheer physical toll it puts on one's knees and shoulders—no one wants to do it again," The Guardian quoted Hanks as saying.

"I'm 57 and I don't think I'm going to take on any job or go on vacation again and see to it that I can gain 30 pounds."

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