Prophetic words from Dr. Daniel Amen?

Could candy addiction be a setup for drug addiction?


wild_berries_bagFormer NBA Los Angeles Laker center, Lamar Odom, was known to have an extreme candy addiction.  Nicknamed Mr. Candy long before his more recent battle with crack cocaine, Odom consumed more than 20 bags of Lifesaver Gummies or the equivalent of 625 cubes of sugar per week.  Dr. Daniel Amen, author of Change Your Brain Change Your Life and LA Laker season ticket holder, wrote a letter to Lamar Odom and the Lakers out of concern not only about the perils of his diet but regarding a potential problem.


Reality Check

Some athletes with an enduring committed to healthy habits.

Examples of athletes with an enduring commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Michael Strahan (l), Tony Gonzalez (top-r), Troy Aikman (bottom-r).

Many (especially young) athletes feel that they can eat anything they want and still perform at a high level.  They’ll just ‘burn it off.’  Unfortunately, I know too many ‘swole’ dudes who struggle with heart disease, gout, fragile bones, and kidney problems. The reality is that bad health habits will eventually catch up to an athlete and erode their performance and health.  Some retired professional athletes don’t make the connection and continue poor health choices into their retirement years.  For example, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal have struggled with their weight and diet related health issues since leaving the game.  On the other hand, Michael Strahan (age 42), Troy Aikman (age 47), and Tony Gonzalez (age 38) are examples of those who are reaping the benefits of an enduring commitment to healthy habits.

A Deeper Issue

Athletes who seem to have bad health habits are not always ignorant or undisciplined.  Star athletes, like many of us have issues and sometimes,




‘What is eating us’ may cause us to eat unhealthily to relieve pain; pain of a loss, pain from regret or hurt.  Pain is often at the origin of addictive behavior.  This possibility and the health impact of Odom’s eating habits are explored in this Good Morning America interview with Dr. Daniel Amen. This piece was shot long before (public knowledge of) Lamar Odom’s crack cocaine crisis and offers insight into addictive behavior and healing.

What do you think?

  • What if Odom’s candy habit was not trivialized and taken more seriously?
  • Would Lamar Odom’s life be different?

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