Retired Shaquille O'Neal's new game? Battling diabetes
The 7-foot tall basketball legend may look huge, but he maintains that he's healthy as can be--or at least he's trying.
For Shaquille O'Neal, retiring from the game over a year ago hasn't squelched his competitive spirit. Only now he's got a new target: diabetes.
"Childhood obesity is getting worse," he says. "People need to know the problem isn't going to go away unless we take control now."
No stranger to the disease
Along with spending many years being scrutinized by the media for his fluctuating weight, several members of O'Neal's family have struggled with diabetes. His focus now is on helping people prevent it. Recently, he invested in a product called Quick Sticks--a glucose liquid "shot" that helps treat low blood sugar and, according to O'Neal, is a "healthier alternative."
So what about O'Neal's own diet and weight management regime? He says he limits carbohydrates, only occasionally indulges in sweets and eats salads for lunch. He also gets in at least an hour of cardio every day.
It's about health, not appearance
"It's a different world we live in now," he said. "I always urge people to eat healthy and ask them to try to help your kids get exercise. I stress the importance of keeping them in shape. It's not about the physical appearance but for their health."
The incredibly tall and muscular O'Neal says his current weight stays at about 350 pounds, but he also admits how tough it can be to stay within a healthy range. Still, he seems committed to avoiding a diabetes diagnosis.
"[Diabetes is] alarming," he said. "We need to come together to try to help prevent the disease and stay healthy."