"You just look at some of these guys and know they're walking time bombs," says University of Texas kinesiology professor Jack Wilmore, who has been a fitness consultant to players on six pro teams. "It's so tough to reverse what they've established."
Some players just flat don't care. Newton has a 4'11", 200-pound grandmother in her 80's, and you can't tell him he had better watch his diet so he'll live a long life. Paris says he isn't worried about life after football, believing he will one day find a comfortable weight and end the wild fluctuations brought on by trying to meet his NFL job requirements. Perry? He refused to be interviewed by SI, preferring to avoid discussions about his weight.
"If they don't develop good habits now," Kleiner says, "they could get huge and have heart disease after they retire. They'll lose control."
Former Charger guard Ed White has heard all of this and has learned to live with it. He was 6'2" and 285 pounds when he retired in 1986, and he's hovering around 300 today. "Being big was part of my role to play," he says. "But to be positively reinforced about being big made it a tremendously hard thing to control. You name the diet, I've been on it, but they're all temporary. When I think of the word buffet, my mouth still starts watering."
Are you listening, Bubba?