Hospitals

Tom Hanks’ diabetes diagnosis raises question: Which companies will seek a celebrity endorsement?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBhZoTN2bvM Life might be like a box of chocolates, but for the actor who made the line famous in Forrest Gump, he’ll probably have to do without them. This week, Academy Award winner Tom Hanks joined the rapidly increasing Type 2 diabetes population. He talked about it during an interview on Late Night with David […]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBhZoTN2bvM

Life might be like a box of chocolates, but for the actor who made the line famous in Forrest Gump, he’ll probably have to do without them. This week, Academy Award winner Tom Hanks joined the rapidly increasing Type 2 diabetes population. He talked about it during an interview on Late Night with David Letterman where he recounted how his doctor broke the news.

“You know those high blood-sugar numbers you’ve been dealing with since you were 36? Well, you’ve graduated! You’ve got Type 2 diabetes, young man.'”

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Hanks is now one of the more than 25.8 million people  diagnosed with the condition. Of those, about 7 million are undiagnosed, according to 2011 data from the American Diabetes Association.

I wonder which organizations or companies will approach the actor to get a celebrity endorsement. Last year Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk partnered with Food Network chef Paula Deen last year. Deen and Novo Nordisk launched a website to raise awareness of the condition. She also shares low-fat versions of her the high-calorie dishes that she produced on her cooking show on the Food Network. Paul Sorvino, with his daughter Mira is a celebrity spokesman for Sanofi. Dick Clark was a spokesman for the American Diabetes Association for years.

Hanks’ diagnosis comes at a time when researchers and startups are laser focused on helping people better manage the condition or prevent if possible. Some are developing analytics tools from big data to do a better job of predicting who has the chronic condition even before they are diagnosed.