NBA All-Star Dwight Howard struggled with an addiction that left his hands and legs shaking, affected his on-court performance, and left his family and friends terrified for his well-being. He wasn’t addicted to cocaine, speed, or even any other illegal drug. His high came from grocery store aisles, in the form of candy bars.
When he was a Los Angeles Laker, the team’s nutritionist, Dr. Cate Shanahan, found out that Howard ate 24 candy bars a day for possibly a decade, as he eventually complained of tingling in his limbs, according to ESPN.
“Shanahan, with two decades of experience in the field, knew Howard possessed a legendary sweet tooth, and she suspected his consumption of sugar was causing a nerve dysfunction called dysesthesia, which she’d seen in patients with pre-diabetes,” the ESPN article read.
She called the people closest to Howard, from his body guard, to his personal chef, and found that before every meal, Howard ate all sorts of candy such as Skittles, Starbursts, Snickers, Twizzlers, Kit-Kats, and his favorite, Reese’s Pieces. The sugar from all the candy equaled up to 24 candy bars, daily.
Similar to former NBA player Lamar Odom’s highly-publicized candy addiction, Howard would hide stashes of candy in his bedroom, kitchen, and even his car.
After an intervention, Howard begrudgingly kicked his sugary addiction in 2013, and the tingling in his hands and legs went away.
This might be why struggled in Los Angeles, but the irrational Laker fan inside me thinks this is just a sweet excuse.