Monday, January 23, 2012

In Poor Health and In Poor Taste

As a devoted viewer of the Food Network, I perked up last week when I heard the news that Paula Deen was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  While I do not and would not cook many of the dishes I see on the Food Network, I do enjoy watching the cooking shows for ideas, inspiration, and ingredients that I could use to make my own healthful meals and dishes.  I have enjoyed Paula Deen’s shows over the years, admittedly mostly as entertainment.  If you don’t know of Paula Deen, she is most well known for her overuse of butter and does not shy away from sugar or fat.  She is a southern cook who goes the extra mile in ruining the reputation of southern cooking, and appears to enjoy doing it.  She has become famous for her butter-loving ways and has earned a fortune from her shows, cookbooks, restaurants, and appearances. 

When I heard the news of her type 2 diabetes diagnosis, I was not at all surprised.  This is a woman who is a self-confessed “fat girl” who admits to not exercising and had a bust of herself made of butter.  But I must say that the way she handled the public announcement was a huge disappointment to me.  She same out on the Today Show and made successive appearances on numerous talk shows throughout the week last week.  As it turns out, she was diagnosed three years ago and kept it a secret.  She made the announcement last week which just happens to coincide with her new endorsement deal with Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company that makes an injectable diabetes medication that she began promoting.  She and her sons Jamie and Bobby (neither have diabetes) are all now paid spokespersons.  This week of announcements and appearances also coincides with the launch of her sons’ new television shows.

As I watched Paula and her sons’ appearances last week, she said that she does not blame herself for her type 2 diabetes.  She does not plan to change her lifestyle or cooking style, other than limiting her sweet tea.  She said that she, like all other baby boomers, must face the reality of developing diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol.  Since when did these health conditions become inevitable for baby boomers?  I have personally helped baby boomers, as well as younger and older generations, eliminate their medications for all three of those health conditions simply through healthy eating and exercising.  The fact that she is capitalizing on fattening and sugary recipes and now simultaneously capitalizing on a drug that combats a disease caused by them is simply distasteful.  To me, it is similar to making money on tanning beds as well as skin cancer treatments, or cigarettes and nicotine gum.  Moreover, she is advocating a medication as the way to alleviate type 2 diabetes symptoms.  However, the American Diabetes Association states that the main treatment for type 2 diabetes is exercise and diet.  Many people can control their type 2 diabetes without medication. 

I also heard Paula say several times that a diabetes diagnosis is not a death sentence.  While it may not be a direct sentence, adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2-4 times higher than adults without diabetes.  And the risk for stroke is 2-4 times higher among people with diabetes. 

The important thing to remember is that Paula Deen is a celebrity – a public figure that should be enjoyed for entertainment and not consulted for nutrition.  We are in control of our own cooking & eating and we decide how much to exercise.  Paula Deen may be in poor health and in poor taste, but that is not your fate!  Take control of your health – I will help you find your good health and do it in good taste!  I’ve got delicious recipes as well as personal catering that will do your taste buds and your body good!  Go to to see all the ways I can help you and those you love.  Obesity is 100% preventable – let’s tastefully eliminate it! 


  1. Comment Received via Facebook
    Quote: "She said that she, like all other baby boomers, must face the reality of developing diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol."

    That. Is NOT. My reality. Unfortunately, too many my age, I'm 51, believe that it is. THIS is why our healthcare system is broke. LACK. OF. PERSONAL. RESPONSIBILITY. I agree, we can control MUCH with good nutrition and exercise.

    I had not heard the full story, only that it was announced that she was diagnosed and that people were making her a joke. I am also disappointed because when I read your NWWB tickler for this blog, I thought maybe she might be a testament for the problems with such choices and show her followers a new way. UGH.

  2. Comment received via Facebook:
    I'm disappointed in her. This was her opportunity to show the world that lifestyle changes are necessary when diagnosed with diabetes. Not only that, but you can still eat healthy delicious food.

    I am diabetic. I personally think the fact she's now the spokesperson for diabetes medication insulting. It's almost like a sales pitch to get diabetes.... Don't exercise, eat unhealthy, get diabetes, take drug...

    I may be harsh, but like I said - I'm diabetic, and that's how I feel about it.

  3. Comment received via Facebook:
    I've been reading a lot of blog posts about Deen. I'm floored at how many of the reader comments are slamming the bloggers for speaking out against the media circus and the way Deen has handled this.