Paula Deen has diabetes. She has had diabetes for the last three years, even though she has continued to prepare and encourage people to make high fat and high sugar recipes (ahem, a donut cheeseburger with a fried egg and bacon). Her admission also comes with the announcement she will be appearing in ads for a diabetes drug. Lovely. This quote, from a Star Tribune editorial best states how I feel:
“Deen made a career out of tasty, but terrible for you cuisine, and now she’s going to profit from a drug to treat a disease linked to what she served up. And she waited how long to tell fans of her diagnosis?”
I think what Paula Deen has done and shameful and crass. I think her appearing on the Today show and trying to tell people that she has encouraged moderation and personal responsibility is almost laughable.
However, the Star Tribune editorial makes the point that no one is being forced to watch her show. She only sells it because we buy it. We do have personal responsibility for our diets and we should practice moderation when it comes to high fat and high sugar items. I love bacon as much as anyone else, but it should not be a regular part of my diet and I know this.
I am disappointed that a figure like Paula Deen is using this as an opportunity to schlep a diabetes drug rather than to truly promote a healthy diet that will extend people’s lives and help people avoid Type 2 diabetes. While many of us have the knowledge and are in a position to moderate and control our diets—many are not, such as children who are served unhealthy food multiple times a week in cafeterias. Once kids get the taste for the high salt/sugar/fat diet, it is pretty hard to convince them that anything else tastes good and they turn into adults like the one in this article who already has Type-2 diabetes and is worrying that Paula Deen’s restaurant will turn to low-fat and more healthy fare in light of her diagnosis. He would rather “…go in and get me some more diabetes,” than be faced with eating healthy food.
And hopefully--later tonight, you can expect a recipe for roast chicken that is both healthy and delicious.