Tom Hanks’ diabetes announcement surprised Letterman viewers on Monday night, when the actor revealed that he has been living with the condition for some time now. Hanks has Type 2 diabetes and the news sparked instant speculation that the actor’s fluctuating weight was the reason.

Tom Hanks, The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles
The actor's everchanging appearance might have been the cause behind his condition.

One of his best-known roles – as a Robinson Crusoe-like character in Castaway – required him to shed 55 pounds. For another part, he had to pack on 30 pounds in a matter of months. Hanks, an Academy Award winner, has never shied away from making drastic changes to his physical appearance for certain roles, but these dramatic weight fluctuations can often be a contributing factor to diabetes.

Hanks’ appearance was actually scheduled with the aim of promoting his new film Captain Phillips, but the actor began his interview with the rather startling announcement, which ended up as today’s biggest headline grabber. But despite the harsh diagnosis, it looks like the Forrest Gump star hasn’t lost his trademark sense of humor.

Tom Hanks, Tony Awards
However, that kind of dedication was also what won him two Academy Awards.

"I went to the doctor and he said '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,'" he said.

However, as the actor explained, there is a solution – even if it sounds near impossible. Talking to Letterman, he explained: "My doctor said 'If you can weigh as much as you weighed in high school you will essentially be completely healthy and will not have Type 2 diabetes' and I said, 'Well, I'm gonna have Type 2 diabetes cause there is no way I can weigh as much as I did in high school.'"

Tom Hanks, Drama Desk Awards
Hanks seems to have resigned himself to living with the condition.