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Barkley: Weight loss is about health

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Charles Barkley arrives to the twenty-ninth annual sports Emmy Awards ceremony where he is one of the presenters at the Rose Theater on April 28, 2008 in New York. The awards, presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Science, honors sports T.V. personalities and programming.(UPI Photo/Monika Graff) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4150839fab89434cf6229c1f44b58d15/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Charles Barkley arrives to the twenty-ninth annual sports Emmy Awards ceremony where he is one of the presenters at the Rose Theater on April 28, 2008 in New York. The awards, presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Science, honors sports T.V. personalities and programming.(UPI Photo/Monika Graff) | License Photo

NEW YORK, May 12 (UPI) -- Former basketball star Charles Barkley said he was inspired to join and campaign for Weight Watchers when he realized he'd gained 100 pounds since retirement.

Currently weighing in at 292, Barkley has lost nearly 60 pounds since joining the weight-loss program. He told Parade Magazine he'd like to drop another 20 pounds from his 6-foot-5-inch frame.

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"I'd gained, like, 100 pounds since I retired, and that wasn't good," Barkley said.

Barkley admitted it was his idea to dress up as a woman for the Weight Watchers ad about "man food."

"I thought their commercials were a little intense and I wanted to have more fun. I've dressed like a woman on Saturday Night Live, so it doesn't bother me at all. My message is about health," he said.

In January Barkley was caught on air during a Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks game calling his Weight Watchers gig a scam. He believed his microphone was turned off at the time.

"I thought this was the greatest scam going -- getting paid to watch sports. This Weight Watchers thing is a bigger scam," The New York Times quoted him as saying.

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Weight Watchers released a statement from Barkley, in which he said: "I meant what I said. The fact that I'm dropping pounds, getting healthier and getting paid at the same time is my definition of a great scam."

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