We’re going to see less of Charles Barkley… he dropped 27 pounds

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Somehow you know Shaquille O’Neal is going to take credit for this when he sits down in the TNT studio on Christmas.

Charles Barkley has dropped 27 pounds so far thanks to Weight Watchers, who now sponsors and promotes him.

“Diet is not a man’s word because we don’t like to diet—we like to eat,” Barkley said in a press release. “Like a lot of athletes, I’ve gained weight since I’ve retired. But, I don’t want to be a fat, old man taking lots of pills. Weight Watchers is helping me change my lifestyle and learn how to make smarter eating choices anywhere I am.

My natural inclination is to make fun of Barkley for this — now there is less of him for the Miami Heat fans to hate — and this weight loss did land him in People Magazine. There are 800 “round mound or rebound” jokes. But the fact is he had gotten pretty large and that’s not healthy. Great for him, good for Weight Watchers, but there are other methods to get there — I once asked David Thorpe of the Pro Training Center how he got a big man college player to lose weight for his NBA team and he said simply “get him to expend more calories than he takes in.” You can do that by exercising more, eating better, or some combination thereof, but he math is pretty simple.

That said, obesity is a serious health issue in the United States and if Barkley’s example gets some other people to lose some pounds and get healthier, then good on him.

Now, I feel like I need to run to the gym.