Anthony Anderson started out in Hollywood as a self-proclaimed “fat, funny guy,” appearing alongside fellow comedic stars Jim Carrey and Martin Lawrence.
But offscreen, Anderson’s weight was anything but a laughing matter: He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2002 at the age of 32.
It took a few years, but eventually, Anderson realized he had to get serious, and so he committed to changing his eating habits and lifestyle. Around the same time, Anderson also made a conscious decision to shift the direction of his career, focusing on darker roles in movies, such as Hustle & Flow and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, and co-starring in television dramas like The Shield and K-Ville.
Inspired by his family history of the disease, Anderson recently became a spokesperson for FACE Diabetes, an initiative sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly that focuses on educating and empowering the African American community.
I was home in Los Angeles, close to eight years ago now. Out of the blue, I started feeling really lethargic and lazy, taking mid-afternoon naps, which is something I wouldn’t just do. I chalked it up to overworking. I just thought I was running myself ragged. But the turning point was one evening I drank, literally, a 5-gallon jug of water in the course of a couple of hours, and there was constant urination. I knew what the symptoms of diabetes were since my father was a diabetic, and I was like “Wow, I think I need to go to the doctor and get this checked out.”
Read more about Anthony Anderson's diabetes diagnosis on Blackdoctor.org.
(Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images for BET)