She’s everybody’s grandma, cooking up savory “comfort food” dishes packed to the gills with butter, sugar, and fat and more than happy to spread the wealth around by showing everyone just how she does it in cookbooks and television shows. Paula Deen is one of the first true celebrities of the Food Network era, as recognizable as Emeril Legasse and Rachael Ray. But does she practice what she preaches? Apparently, she does. The unhealthy food queen has finally admitted that she has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (that’s the really bad one). In fact, she has been struggling with the disease for over three years. So, why did she keep it quiet? Well, when you are making millions selling diabetes-causing food products to the general public, it probably isn’t a good thing to let everyone know that it has landed you with an incurable disease that these unhealthy habits no doubt played a part in bringing on. But, now Paula’s coming clean. Why now? Oh, don’t worry. There’s a good reason.
Paula Deen admitted that she had Type 2 diabetes, and almost immediately announced that she is the new paid spokesperson for the diabetes drug, Victoza, a controversial drug that is still being researched as to its long-term health effects. The pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk has enlisted Paula to spread the word about Victoza, and the good news that it is apparently working wonders for her. In fact, despite her diagnosis, she was still able to famously pack away a bacon cheeseburger on a cruise, causing an overnight internet sensation.
On the Today show, Paula Deen defended her timing to host Al Roker:
“I could have walked out and said, ‘Hey ya’ll, I have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.’ I had nothing to give my fellow friends out there. I wanted to bring something to the table when I came forward.”
Fortunately, the Victoza goldmine has come along just in time to give her something to give her fans. And, instead of pitching lifestyle and diet changes, starting with, I don’t know, completely throwing away all your Paula Deen cookbooks, Paula suggests that medicine is the answer. But at an average of $500 a month, Victoza might be the answer for wealthy Deen, but is it the answer for the average American?
Granted, everyone makes their own decisions. Also, it is perfectly possible to end up being a Type 2 diabetic through no fault of your own whatsoever. What we do know is that dietary choices hugely influence the risk factors, and a diet such as the one Paula Deen has endorsed for decades is the perfect storm to make Type 2 diabetes a foregone conclusion.
A lot of people are becoming disenfranchised with Mrs. Deen because it seems like she is benefiting off selling a drug for a disease she also helped propagate. Her recipes that she hawks on her television programs might be bad,
but additionally, she also sells tons of products with her likeness. This ranges from frozen dinners to desserts to cooking materials. Most are packed full of preservatives, chemicals, and the usual conglomeration of trans-fat and ungodly high carbohydrate content. She is the spokesman for Smithfield hams, the delicious variety that includes more than a day’s worth of sodium in a normal person’s serving. But that’s heart health, not diabetes, so maybe that’s off-limits.
What Mrs. Deen could really be doing is increasing awareness and helping those that haven’t been infected with Type 2 diabetes to avoid it. Another popular Food Network personality, Anthony Bourdain, the host of “No Reservations,” felt the same:
“If I were on at seven at night and loved by millions of people at every age, I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it’s OK to eat food that is killing us.”
Think Anthony is just jumping on the bandwagon. He made this statement before Paula Deen announced that she had Type 2 diabetes.