“Lose weight like a man,” says Charles Barkley, the newest spokesperson for Weight Watchers. The former NBA superstar, who has been nicknamed “Round Mound of Rebound,” has gotten tired of his weight and pledged to drop it, once and for all. At his highest weight, the 48-year-old retired basketball star weighed more than 350 pounds.
Famous for a 1993 Nike ad in which he says “I am not a role model. I’m not paid to be a role model. I am paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court. Parents should be role models,” Barkley has changed his tune.
In the Weight Watchers ads, slated to run most often during sporting events, Barkley says “I am still not a role model. But maybe I can change that. Maybe if I tell you I’m losing weight and getting healthy, you’d see that you can too.” Nowhere in the advertisements does he mention black men specifically, but the message of “health first” is one that is very often overlooked by men, especially men of color. They are often underrepresented in the weight loss field, often to the gross extremes of encouraging heaviness with the popularity of such men as “The Notorious B.I.G.”, and the recent passing of comedian Patrice O’Neal.
The CDC estimates that as many as 70 percent of U.S. men are overweight or obese. A higher percentage of non-Hispanic black men are obese than non-Hispanic white men. Men are the least likely group to select a weight loss support group, but they would greatly benefit from it.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, choosing a group plan can be effective. Studies have shown that people lose more weight when they both have support and are accountable, and Weight Watchers can be a good choice for both of those.
Regardless of gender, losing weight can be accomplished by eating less and moving more. Take a walk every day. Choose a smaller dinner plate, and follow the new MyPlate graphic to load it with lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits. Drop the soda from your diet and add in yoga, swimming or biking. Little steps, added bit by bit, can show great results!
We have no doubt that basketball and golf will be the exercises of choice for Barkley.
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