Los Angeles Lakers star forward Lamar Odom was featured on Good Morning America this morning, not for his outstanding basketball achievements but for a legendary sweet tooth behind the nickname, “The Candy Man.”
Jovial and easygoing, Lamar was seen shopping for candy, cookies and sweets in any form, which filled his car like a piñata. A sugar addiction of monumental proportions, it causes the star athlete to consume extraordinary amounts of processed sugar at every possible opportunity. He joked about playing his best games when he has candy for breakfast.
Famed psychiatrist, neuroscientist and brain-imaging specialist, Dr. Daniel Amen wrote to the Lakers asking Odom to reconsider the damage this bizarre diet might be doing to the athlete’s brain and other organs. A Lakers season ticketholder, Amen even suggested that the Lakers employ a brain coach to improve their brain health and help them make “the smartest game-time decisions.”
But seriously, the implications of this addiction reach far beyond the scoreboard.
Aside from the sugar highs and lows caused by massive insulin inbalance, people who eat too much sugar can become diabetic, which can lead to dwindling mental capabilities. They are at risk for depression and other cognitive impairments, such as memory loss and dementia. Diabetics are 65 percent more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, high doses of refined sugar lead to inflammation throughout the body – affecting the joints, the cardiovascular system and the brain.
Lamar Odom is a marvelous athlete in his prime, strong and beautiful on and off the court. One wonders what he might achieve without the constant flow of sugar in his body. But if he is to retain the amazing machine with which he has been blessed, every expert will agree that he needs to get off the candy train, because it is certainly going to crash.