University of South Florida

The Super Bowl of weight loss: Former NFL players drop pounds, get healthy

From left, former Buccaneer and Eagles offensive lineman Rob Taylor, former Patriot and Raiders offensive lineman Brian Holloway, Lions and Chiefs linebacker James Harrell, Dr. John Paul Gonzalvo, former Buccaneers defensive lineman Jason Maniecki and Dr. Michel Murr pose for a photo following a news conference at the Tampa General Hospital and USF Health Bariatric Center, following a six-month study of weight management in former professional football players.

By Lisa Greene, Tampa General Hospital News

When Rob Taylor was an offensive lineman, he ate everything in sight.

Rob Taylor talks about his experience losing weight as Brian Holloway and Jason Maniecki stand by.

“You’ve got to gorge yourself,” said Taylor, who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1986 to 1993. “You get paid to be big.”

But when he retired and slowed down, his eating habits didn’t. By last year, Taylor’s weight had soared to 340 pounds. He had an irregular heartbeat, he snored loud enough to wake his wife, and he had given up believing that he could change.

“I was at that place where I was going to be a big guy, an obese guy, for the rest of my life,” Taylor said.

But then he, along with three other former NFL players living in the Tampa Bay area, joined a six-month research study at the Tampa General Hospital + USF Health Bariatric Center. The study was designed to promote weight loss in former NFL athletes.

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