Dwight Howard was eating ‘the equivalent of 24 Hershey bars a day’

Dwight Howard has cut down on his sugar intake.
(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Last season, while Dwight Howard was recovering from back surgery, he also apparently was struggling with another problem -- sugar.

After watching Howard play for the Lakers, Dr. Cate Shanahan was struck by what she saw.

“It looked like he was wearing oven mitts out there,” Shanahan told “It reminded me of patients who have pre-diabetes and neurological problems because of how sugar impacts the nervous system. That’s where I became really concerned.”


Shanahan contacted longtime Laker trainer Gary Vitti, and set up a meeting with the 28-year-old center.

She discovered that Howard’s glucose readings were sky-high. He was consuming the equivalent of 24 Hershey bars a day in the form of candy and soda.

Howard had sugar-filled drinks and candy all over his home, even by his bed. He agreed to give it all up.

“I said, ‘I can’t live this way because it’s not healthy to have this high level of sugar in me,’” Howard told “I just made a commitment.”

Since leaving the Lakers to play for the Houston Rockets, Howard has continued his new health regimen. He said his blood-glucose levels declined 80% within weeks of changing his diet.

He is averaging 17 points and 13.2 rebounds for the Rockets this season.


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