Dwight Howard (Getty Images)
(USA Today) -- Professional athletes burn a lot of calories, so many of them can get away with eating food that would cause normal humans to gain an excessive amount of weight.
Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard would appear to be the pinnacle of health, with a 6'11? frame that looks like it's been chiseled from a block of granite - but an eye-popping report from CBS Sports' Ken Berger shows that Howard's diet while in Los Angeles was severely diminishing his performance. Howard met with Dr. Cate Shanahan in 2012, and the Lakers found that their new center was functioning with a bona fide sugar addiction.
Via CBS Sports:
It turned out that Howard was consuming the equivalent of 24 Hershey bars a day in the form of candy and soda - not to mention the additional sugar his body was making out of all the empty starches he was eating...
Like an addict, Howard had candy and sugary drinks stashed everywhere - from his kitchen cabinets to a drawer next to his bed to the backpack he toted to games and practices. He agreed to get rid of it all and start over.
Howard once described his "dream day of food" to USA TODAY Sports in 2009. It was chock-full of terribly delicious and sugary foods.
Breakfast: Brioche French toast stuffed with bananas and caramel, covered in maple syrup. Ham and cheese omelet. A side of green grapes, orange slices, pineapple and watermelon. His drink all day is a Shirley Temple, a non-alcoholic drink made with ginger ale or lemon-lime soda with grenadine syrup and garnished with maraschino cherries.
Lunch: A Pizza Hut pan pizza or three McDonald's double cheeseburgers, large fries and a strawberry milkshake.
Dinner: Barbecued ribs, chitlins, collard greens, candied yams and macaroni and cheese. For dessert, caramel apple pie with vanilla ice cream.