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When A Food Network Chef Gets Type 2 Diabetes

January 20, 2012   93 Comments

Paula Deen is a celebrity chef on the Food Network who makes mind-blowingly fatty food. I saw her deep fry a macaroni and cheese casserole with bacon in it.

Paula Deen Controversy

She is famous for a sandwich called a "heart attack" which is 2 glazed donuts, a hamburger, a fried egg, and bacon.

One of my personal Paula Deen favorites is when she deep fried cheesecake. See here:

OMG, she really did that! And then she ate it (and lots of similar stuff) and developed Type 2 diabetes. This story alone isn't that interesting until you hear what she did next.

After three years of keeping her diabetes to herself, she has become a paid spokesperson for a diabetes drug from Novo Nordisc. She is making money because of her poor dietary choices. Wow, what a role model!!

She is like a smoker who promotes cigarettes, who caught lung cancer, and is getting paid by her chemo company to hawk the drug cocktail. Goes down good, does it Paula? How about the side effects - should we talk about those?

(actually she is also a smoker - but I'm not going to touch that).

Now, I will stop being frustrated with her and show compassion. I want to like Paula Deen. Hey, I do LIKE Paula Deen, but when you get a wake-up call like Type 2 diabetes the party is over.

Just think of the impact she could make if she had decided to change her lifestyle and adopt healthier eating habits. In three years maybe she could have lost 60 pounds and told us of her new love of kale chips. She would be a GREAT role model.

Maybe she is too scared to change. I think her fans would love her whatever she does - but it would be hard to give up those signature dishes.

So, if YOU have Type 2 diabetes (or your blood sugar levels are going up) - I am going to offer you another chef who actually is a role model. Mark Bittman tells us in his book "Food Matters" that at 57 years old he was overweight, his blood sugar and cholesterol levels were rising, and he had developed sleep apnea.

And, what did he do? Go out and hawk a sleep apnea drug? No, he changed his diet (less meat more vegetables) and lost weight. He started eating a diet that was "vegan until six" and found that the weight just melted off of him.

Then, he hawked TWO books (see below) - one about his transformation and another a cookbook to help the rest of us. If you haven't looked at these, you should.

Mark Bittman is way too grumpy for the Food Network, which is too bad because we could all use his show.

What do you think of the Paula Deen controversy?

photo of Paula Deen provided by Sophie Wilcox in support of Civitan International's work for the developmentally disabled


Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes

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The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living

The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living

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93 Comments:

Thanks for sharing that video.

For a reality check on meds and big-pharma, check out Bill Maher’s incredible rant about it … http://bit.ly/wNagw1

In light of Paula Deen’s reaction to her type 2 diabetes, this is a great video to view.

BTW, here’s great “smack-down” that Barbara Walters had with Paula Deen http://bit.ly/zYQwZh … make note of the date.

on January 20, 2012

THANK YOU....I shout from the top of the nearest mountain!!! I have been saying how 'scary' she is for a long time. The thought of her makes my arteries scream. First to find out 3 years ago....and then 'announcing' it becomes "breaking news" (altho better news to me would've been the temperature outside)....and then to let the world know that she's now a PAID spokesperson for a diabetic drug company!!! And her accent and laugh are completely fake as well....I live in TN (and have lived in other southern states) and have yet to come across anyone who sounds like her. She truly should be ashamed of herself, but obviously she's not. Thank you so much for putting this out there!!!

on January 20, 2012

I don't feel like Paula Deen had any obligation to disclose her own personal medical issue until she was ready to. I also don't have a problem with her being a paid spokeperson for a drug company; it's not like she's the first celebrity to do so.

I don't think she cooked the way she did because she WANTED to develop diabetes. I think she cooked that way because that's what she knows, that's what she loves.

There are a lot of chefs out there that are cooking unhealthy food, with a lot of fat and butter. I understand Paula goes really far with her foods, but the chances of people getting Type 2 diabetes because of Paula Deen are slim. It's mostly due to bad lifestyle choices. If you eat a Paula Deen recipe once a month, you're most likely going to be ok.

Being diagnosed with diabetes is a very upsetting and can be overwhelming. That's why I don't blame her for not disclosing it. She may have needed time to get used to how to deal with taking care of herself.

If Buddy from Cake Boss (or anyone from his overweight family) develops diabetes, do you think he'll stop making fattening cakes and pastries? Absolutely not. So why does Paula Deen get treated differently?

on January 20, 2012

Ok, going to have to be Melissa2, I guess! And apparently people named Melissa think the same! Funny!

on January 20, 2012

Dear Readers, It is 8 AM and things are already getting a bit heated. Please no insults or offending comments. I believe that we can have a great discussion here about celebrity obligations (or lack there of), lifestyle changes, diabetes, pharmaceuticals, etc. without slandering each other.

Plenty of people disagree with me (and other commenters) every day on this site and do so respectfully.

on January 20, 2012

Agreed, and hope I wasn't offensive or insulting. My comment is still here, so I'm guessing it was the other person you are talking about. I love your column. Thanks for always providing great recipes and great thoughts for healthy living.

on January 20, 2012

I for one am a Paula fan. I love her food and her personality. I have been to one of her restaurants and the food is top of the line. Yes, I would be dead in a week if I ate there every day; however, it was a nice trip to go on. I have two of her cookbooks and make things from them; however, I also "trim" back on things and the food still tastes good. One of my favorites is her meatloaf with the oats and tomatoes in it. It is easy for us all to pass jugment on her but she is giving the people what they want. The one thing I noticed at her restaurant there was no shortage of people. She admitted that she does not eat the things she cooks every day and she doesn't think everyone else should either. We are given a free will to choose what we ant to eat, so while we're passing the blame on her, let's blame ourselves also for eating it. I had the opportunity to see her in person in Tunica, Misissippi in a noncooking show and she was hilarous. Very infectious personality.

on January 20, 2012

Love Paula's cooking and personality. I try to alter her dishes with less fat / meat substitute. I would welcome her publicly adjusting her classes dishes. She doesn't HAVE to, but it would be nice.

on January 20, 2012

Dear Snack Girl, Why so touchy? I didn't see anything in either of the Melissa's posts that was "heated", "slandering" or was not done so "respectfully." I, too, think your website is great but if you're going to allow people to comment, they should be able to comment without negative kickback. Just something for you to consider. Keep up your good work!

on January 20, 2012

just felt the need to say this. I've deepfried a cheesecake at work before (coated in 11 secret herbs and spices) and cannot see why anyone would do this. We just like to see how much someone has to be paid to eat it.

As for why she would hock drugs as opposed to dietry change: money talks.

on January 20, 2012

Also agreeing with the Melissas and Sarah.

In P.S., maybe the "way too grumpy for the Food Network" guy is that way because of his food choices? There is room for all types of foods, including Paula's. And she HAS changed her ways, letting everyone know that a good portion of her food is "Sunday" food or once-in-a-while food. It's important to remember. I'm sorry she developed Diabetes first but I'm glad she's making changes.

on January 20, 2012

Yes, Paula Deen makes fatty, salt-filled, cholesterol-packed food. But has anyone NOT made any of that? I mean, in our culture today, people enjoy eating these foods once in a while. I think that in a way, Paula Deen put the diabetes upon herself, eating certain foods with certain portion sizes, but that's her health to deal with. She doesn't need strangers telling her how to get rid of it. That's her doctor's job.

on January 20, 2012

I have to agree with the Melissas. In my experience growning up in the South, strong southern women of her generation have always kept personal family information close to the chest and showing your weakness is a journey. I think the bigger story is that an overweight America continues to blame others for their plight instead of taking accountability for themselves. The information to maintain a healthy lifestyle is out there (including Snack Girl) and no one is twisting our arms. Everything in moderation!

on January 20, 2012

" a good portion of her food is "Sunday" food or once-in-a-while food".

No, there is no need to ever deep fry a stand alone dessert, add chocolate and oil, sugar and sauces. Cheesecake is a sunday food. Deepfried cheesecake with chocolate is a never food.

on January 20, 2012

I too am a Paula fan (albeit not a frequent Deen recipe user), primarily BECAUSE of her excess use of all things unhealthy. Kind of like window shopping at Tiffany's. My 18 yo daughter finds Deen and her relationship with butter very amusing, and pointed out her quote in Oprah magazine this month "Might as well eat that cookie". As far as becoming a spoke-person, she got Diabetes the way most people get it by eating too much and not exercising enough. (perhaps now she will adjust her cooking style and become an inspiration to others?)

on January 20, 2012

I think I may have watched her show a couple times and been simply horrified. I much prefer people who try to control their diabetes by diet and exercise, type 2 diabetes can actually be managed pretty well that way. Mind you, no one is going to give you a million dollar contract to promote that.

on January 20, 2012

I couldn't agree with you more! My 11 yr old daughter has Type 1 Diabetes, and this Paula Deen announcement has been fueling more misconceptions between these two very different chronic diseases. My daughter doesn't have a choice in wearing an insulin pump, etc. All of these people who develop Type 2 are not doing anyone favors by overloading our healthcare system with such an unnecessary illness. If my daughter's 'cure' could be lifestyle choices, she would have never been diagnosed 7 years ago in the first place. More and more children are being diagnosed with Type 2. Remember the 7 deadly sins...gluttony is one of them.

on January 20, 2012

I think Paula grew up making these recipes and she has made her fortune from them. Many famous chefs cook food that is heavy in salt and butter. She is not forcing anyone to eat like that every day. We all know what good choices are but now and then most people splurge a little. She does have recipes that don't contain a stick of butter in her cookbooks.

on January 20, 2012

I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in my mid 50s & have eaten sensibly for years, exercised regularly, never smoked (which has zilch to do with diabetes anyway) and am not overweight nor have I been. As a nurse of almost 4 decades, I know that there is a big hereditary link that predisposes some people to diabetes. I don't think Paula Deen had any obligation whatsoever to disclose her health condition since it is a personal matter. People have developed this mindset that the public has a "right" to know every little private & personal detail about the life of a celebrity. I disagree. As for the supposed damage her TV show causes to others, I believe we all have freedom of choice about what we watch on our own TVs. Whoever doesn't agree with Paula Deen's cooking is free to change the channel.

on January 20, 2012

Just a reminder that not everyone with Type 2 diabetes is a glutton. My seemingly healthy brother in law-- a slender 58 year old runner with a decent diet-- was diagnosed with it last year. Likely a hereditary thing. The disease has developed a stigma by virtue of being associated with obesity, which is a shame. People should not be judged and stigmatized. We're all just trying to live our lives and do our best while on this planet, people.

on January 20, 2012

The thing that frosts me about her story and annoucement is that she supposedly said "I don't blame myself" or some other such nonsense. It's time to take some responsibility along with the money for the drug endorsement.

on January 20, 2012

The whole "she got what she deserved" attitude is so saddening to me.

on January 20, 2012

My first thought when I heard the news is that Paula Deen was being irresponsible, and to a certain extent I still feel that way. It is absolutely in her own right not to disclose her medical information, but she just kept doing what she is doing. In the past three years I haven't seen her lose a significant amount of weight, change her recipes, or even preach about healthy eating. As a celebrity she garners a lot more control over what people do and think than she probably even knows. I think the most disappointing thing to come out of this is that she is now repping a diabetes drug instead of eating better and exercising. It has taken her three years to tell people that she doesn't eat a stick of butter everyday. For all I know she ate macaroni and cheese and pork chops every night because she didn't tell anyone otherwise. I feel that part of her life was a bit deceptive, even without disclosing the diabetes diagnosis. If she wants to live with diabetes in secret she has every right to do that, but she could at least showcase a healthier lifestyle by showing the public that she doesn't eat 5,000 calories everyday.

on January 20, 2012

Diabetes gallops through my family. I have spent the last 12 years trying real hard to change my lifestyle with exercise, dietary changes and Weight Watchers. Paula Dean's food has never been anything that I would consider eating. I will admit that baked macaroni and cheese, fried chicken and french fries are my all time comfort foods, but I can't remember the last time that I had any of these foods. Since so many people are Paula Dean fans, I really feel that she missed an absolute golden opportunity to help anyone trying to change their eating habits. She already has so many followers - why not help them get healthy?

on January 20, 2012

haven't read all comments but of those I've read no one has mentioned the real fact that eating & promoting such eating as Paula does helps drive up medical costs for everyone. She's raking in the $$ as we pay out. No one is forced to eat the way she promotes, but we are forced to help pay for the results for all who do. She's no dummy. She didn't change her ways 3+ yrs ago when she was first diagnosed because to do so would have meant a financial hit on her popularity.

on January 20, 2012

Hi Snackgirl,

I was wondering if you could give me a good website about low carbs & low calorie. I did low carb 50-60 day for 2 1/2 years & kept 30 lbs off. My husband dosen't do well on low carb (too hard)goes out a lot at work. I have doing "My Fitness Pal" for 2 weeks and have lost 1 lb. well I gained 10 over Christmas I don't diet during December.

on January 20, 2012

@Lydia - one of my favorite healthy and low calorie sites is:

http://www.skinnytaste.com/

if you look around you will find recipes without pasta, bread, etc. to keep the recipes low carb. (takes a little searching). I hope this is helpful.

on January 20, 2012

I am a women with Type 2 Diabetes- I love to cook- some foods that are good for me and some not so good. Just because I am a diabetic doesnt mean that everyone around me has to eat what I eat or that I am obligated to only cook what is diabetic friendly. I love Paula Deen and I think she's an awesome chef... I prepare many of her recipes for family and friends who are not on diabetics diets. I dont think Paula has broken any laws..people have a tendency to judge diabetics- watching everything they eat. I say let Paula do what she loves to do-Cook. If you dont like it, dont cook her recipes... and if you do, it doesnt mean you have to eat every last bite... its all about balance.

on January 20, 2012

Hi guys, just a clarification about the Melissas: the two posts written by a Melissa and a Melissa2 are both by me. There was a previous post by a Melissa (right before my first post) that was pretty ornery and unkind. That's why I wrote Melissa2 on my second comment. Just in defense of Snack Girl, she deleted the first Melissa's comment because it was pretty over the top and unnecessarily mean.

on January 20, 2012

As a journalist who writes about health and fitness issues, I've been following this for the past few days and have read more sides of this debate than I can count. There is merit in many of the arguments. But after days of reading this (and I'm going to stop now) This quote from the Huffington Post says it best for me:

"Paula Deen has a golden opportunity to send a very important message to this country, if she wants to join the fight against diabetes in a truly authentic way: eat less, eat healthier, move your body ... and do all these things BEFORE you develop diabetes. Then, maybe you won't need to take the drug to treat it.

Her authentic self will be standing ... and we'll be listening."

You can the entire post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbara-hannah-grufferman/pau…

on January 20, 2012

1st, I love your site Snack Girl! Re: the Paula Deen controversy, I myself love Paula Deen. I watch her show sometimes, have her cookbooks/ memoir, and went to her restaurant in Savannah when I was there for a wedding. However, while watching/reading/etc I also use my common sense and knowledge I've picked up by paying attention to sites like Snack Girl, listening to doctors, reading articles about foods that contribute to a healthier you and foods that don't...the key really is moderation and knowing what you are putting into your body. Should you make and eat food like Paula makes all the time? NO! She knows that, she says that, and so do her sons who often cook with her on the show. When you are growing up, you may not feel like you have a choice about what you are eating, but once you get to be an adult, you definitely have the choice and responsibilty to yourself to choose wisely. Sometimes it's hard to choose the better-for-you foods but you can learn how to do it and be successful. Her recipes are fun to try sometimes for an indulgence, and they can be lightened up if you want. You have to make the choice and be okay with whatever you choose. She has to figure out what works for her and manage her diabetes. I think she will develop and promote some healthier options because she'll see that it is important to do so, not just for herself, but for her viewers and their health too. Anyway, thanks for having this discussion today, I've enjoyed reading what other think about this. Take care!

on January 20, 2012

Snack Girl, I'm totally with you! I think Paula Deen (and all other celeb chefs) have a responsibility to their fans, to make healthier food look and taste good.I was looking at her magazine while waiting in line at Christmas, and I was completely shocked by all the butter and totally unhealthy ingredients she was endorsing in every recipe! There are sooo many ways to make foods with less fat and cholesterol, while still tasting phenomenal.

on January 20, 2012

I am not a huge paula fan, but some of my family aare so I try and keep up with her. While I don't agree with pushing drugs over making lifestyle changes its not that bad in the scheme of things. Also paula has said on more then one occasions she does not eat like that everyday(refering to what she cooks on her show). I grew up in the south and that type of the cooking is what many people grow up with, people are comfortable with whatt they know. And just a side note for I believe it was jan who said her fake accent, I can't say for sure if hers is real or not but I have heard many of women have a very similar speech as her.

on January 20, 2012

I am a HUGE Paula Deen fan. She lifted herself out of a bad situation and went on to make a new life for herself and her sons. On top of successfully doing that, she went way beyond and was able to parlay her cooking skills and personality into famous restaurants and cooking shows. She does so many good things with her money,helping others in a variety of philanthropic ways. She is known and famous for her indulgent recipes, but I have heard her say on more than one occasion that while they love eating these foods in the South, they certainly don't eat them every single day. She carved a niche for herself with this indulgent Southern cooking, but does that mean that's all she eats, or even the way she eats all the time?People make a lot of assumptions, but unless YOU are sitting in her kitchen watching the food she's actually putting in her mouth 24/7, you really shouldn't judge. I just think sometimes people are too happy to criticize and judge a celebrity. Her health is between her and her doctor and is a private matter. And I'm reading comments from people who are slamming her food....please, tell me you NEVER eat cheesecake, frosted cake, fried chicken, doughnuts. Not one of these things, never? And for Colleen, who seems to think that type II diabetes is curable...honey, you need to have a convo w/your doctor. While many of the people who develop type II are overweight, this is not always the case. More judging. Where is our compassion, I wonder?

on January 20, 2012

I think Mrs. Deen seems in denial that food was the cause of her disease. In the interview she did with the Today Show, she made it sound like, well, yes, that might be a little part of it. I hope she knows that she can take this disease by the horns and completely cure herself by FOOD. It sounds much better than being on drugs for the rest of your life. Health should be worth so much more than the money she's making.

Also, in that same interview, she said that she's always preached "moderation." I watch her show frequently and I don't EVER remember her saying anything of the sort. I guess I haven't seen EVERY episode, so did I happen to miss only the episodes where she did preach that?

Mrs. Deen is not responsible for anyone else's health, or for being a good food role model. But it seems to me now that she's skirting the issues and backtracking a little, and that is what I think is not right.

on January 20, 2012

I'm pretty sure that the world is getting furious at a woman who makes food that the entire universe knows is terrible but is willing to eat anyway. She cooks the way she learned, I totally get that. Maybe getting paid by a drug company is a poor choice, but it's hers.

I mostly feel bad for her. She just told the world that she has diabetes and people are treating her like crap. You feel bad enough after a diagnoses like that. Though she brought it on herself by letting the word out, probably.

I don't know, this is a complicated situation.

on January 20, 2012

I also agree with the 2 Melissa's---she wan under no obligation to disclose her medical situation. I believe that she probably has been wrestling with it mentally for awhile.

I also agree with Snack Girl that Paula definitely could make some changes now and help other people that are also struggling with Type 2. My brother was just diagnosed recently and is very confused and overwhelmed.

I've made a lot of her recipes. They almost always turn out good. But, I also use my common sense and cut back on the sugar and fat when I feel it is too much for my family. I take responsibility for my self in those situations, NOT try and blame it on the chef who designed the recipe.

One last thing, my husband's Aunt lives in South Carolina and has a very thick southern accent similar to Paula Deen's :)

Keep up the good work Snack Girl!!

on January 20, 2012

I love this post. It is also so interesting to hear peoples responses.Yes you can live a healthy life style and still get sick, but we only have one body so it is our responsibility to take care of. (or not ) And being healthy doesn't mean you are giving up good food or taste.

It means you are nourishing yourself . Most of us choose not to walk in front of a moving vehicle. Eating healthy is a choice. A choice that can help prevent so many diseases . When we eat poorly it eventually catches up with us. However, over the years working a nutritionist I realized this is a very touchy subject.

snack girl you are absolutely right promoting a drug instead of changing her life style is pretty shocking and it does not send a very good messages to her fans .

Dawn

snackingoutsidethebox.com

for delicious and healthy easy recipes

thank again

on January 20, 2012

there is this girl who calls herself Joy the Baker and she's pretty, hip, wears vintagey dresses and is.....wait for it.....really thin.

she lives a beach house and makes food all the time.

random stuff.

some stuff is super fatty, full sugar and some other stuff is just amazing salads full of color flavor and fresh.

if she were to get type 2 diabetes i would cry.

and then people would say things like "well, look at her recipes."

but joy mentioned in her page that people always ask her for the "lighter" version of her cakes and bakes and she said "I don't have it. And I don't eat this food everyday. This is celebratory food." (I shouldn't use quote marks because I'm paraphrasing).

I don't eat nearly as fatty as any paula deen recipe and i am not nearly as fat.

but i can't touch sugar or i feel sick.

i am a fan of snack girl because i grab anything that doesn't have added sugar (OR FAKE SUGAR I HATE THAT STUFF!) and eat it by the pound!

well, i don't. my point is. I could develop type 2 diabetes and i feel so upset that regardless of my awesome eating habits (which i do have though i'm not vegan til 6) i am NOT thin and I have blood sugar problems.

i don't like the way she does things for myself but i don't get all the hate.

i wish celebs took responsibilities for their influence but that's too complicated. and i'm not going to be frustrated about it either.

on January 20, 2012

I understand the validity of stating that Paula Deen is not a good Role Model, but absolutely disagree with her being badgered for having diabetes. It is her fault, and I am sure she is quite aware of that. I love Paula, her personality,and her show. Why not just leave the woman alone? Most of us are smart enough to realize that when you use an entire stick of butter in almost everything you cook, your bound to be obese. And if you consume mass amounts of sugar and unused carbohydrates, your most likely going to develop diabetes.

on January 20, 2012

Call me a cynic, but how could anyone truly believe that Paula Deen kept her diabetes a secret for one reason only -- money! She wanted to keep her secret so that it wouldn't hurt her "brand" or her cookbooks, etc.

Second of all, she is only coming clean now because she got the endorsement from the drug company. There is no doubt in my mind that these are the true motiviations. Now, that's her perogative, it IS America after all. But let's not sugar coat it and claim she was trying to keep her privacy.

on January 20, 2012

I have never made anything by Paula Deen. She found a market in high fat food and adults made decisions to indulge in that food and in turn make Paula Deen a millionaire. All the stones we through at Paula are just another way of not paying attention to ourselves and OUR food choices. I hope she changes her dietary habits for her health and not for the world. WE are in charge of what goes in to our mouths, not Paula Deen.

on January 20, 2012

Of course I agree with my namesakes. But where is personal responsibility in all this? No one is forcing anyone to eat Paula Deen's recipes if they don't want to. We can all make the choice of being informed about what we eat, and it's obvious that her recipes aren't the healthiest, but as stated above, once in a while won't hurt you and they DO taste very good. And although it seems hypocritical, she can be a spokesperson for a diabetes drug just as other celebrities have been spokespersons for blood sugar monitors and other diabetes equipment who are also overweight. It's not as if she's trying to make people have diabetes so she can hawk the drug. Is there really anyone these days who thinks that deep-fried cheesecake is healthy? Just like is there really anyone these days who thinks that cigarettes won't harm you?

on January 20, 2012

I agree with the Melissa's & Sue. Paula Deen made extremely fattening food, but just because she's on tv making those foods does it mean we have to follow what she does?... People have to take responsibility for themselves. If Paula Deen said eat this fried cheesecake while jumping off a bridge would you do it?... Her show was about comfort food! If this story can teach anyone anything it's we sould look at her example and her fight against diabeties and ask ourselves "Do you wnat to live with a diease like that?" She's learning her lesson now I'm sure, and if I were her I wouldn't have said anything about my health either (a right to privacy & yes it is a lifestyle change she had to adopt that probably was difficult to do). We are always so quick to pass judgement like DKG-VA said we don't know if the reason for her developing Type 2 Diabeties is due to her food consupmtion or it could be hereditary. We don't know if she ate like that on a regualr basis. I'm a fan and I've dined at her resturant, but that doesn't mean I eat all of the things she's made on her show or live my life according to a tv show for that matter. Now she's making money off of it by being a spokesperson for a drug company. If we were in her position and had the opportunity to do the same I'm sure all of us would. It's the American way I would expect nothing less!

on January 20, 2012

I HIGHLY recommend Mark Bittman's cookbooks. My mother-in-law gave us Food Matters a year ago and it has changed the way we eat for the better. The recipes are delicious, many of them are quick and work for a week night, and I can be sure we're eating enough grains and vegetables. I think Bittman is great and would love to see a TV show of his!

on January 20, 2012

Lay off the lady, will you? What she prepares is her business. What she puts in her belly (or doesn't) is her business. And her food isn't food for normal everyday eating. It's for special times, like parties or company or holidays or birthdays.

on January 20, 2012

Oh, and another thing. Fatty though Paula D's cuisine may be, she uses REAL ingredients rather than processed "goop"

on January 20, 2012

I think a major issue in a negative reaction to her is that she's raking in big bucks now for promoting drugs that are now necessary for her irresponsible personal lifestyle, & that personal lifestyle has also raked in big bucks thru the years. If she would have owned up to the diagnosis & made a public announcement 3 yrs ago when first officially diagnosed AND made a public show of how she would need to change her lifestyle, she might have garnered a bit more respect. Obviously there's nothing saying she HAD to disclose personal information but imo since she's such a public figure it would have been a mature, responsible action for her to take. IMO, instead she chose to continue on "as is" ONLY for the sake of the dollars.

& I repeat this type of behavior has an affect on all of us because it affects our costs for medical insurance.

on January 20, 2012

I'm usually not one to comment but have enjoyed reading this blog and comments. However, this post prompt me to voice my opinion.

I don't cook but for years have enjoyed watching the food network and one of the shows that I really enjoyed was Paula Deen's. I don't understand where this whole, because she is a celebrity she has to take responsibility for everyone else's decisions or that she has to disclosed her personal business with the world.

Diabetes run in my Dad's side of the family so because of that everyone in our family have been making healthy lifestlyle choices but it doesn't mean once in a while any of us can't try a deep fried twinkie or anything that is unhealthy. These are decisions we make so we can't blame anyone else.

Also, please don't say insensitive comments like type 2 diabetes are unnecessary illnesses. There are plenty of healthy people, like my uncle, who have type 2 diabetes who have hardships in their own way.

on January 20, 2012

I have to agree with the people defending us Type 2's. Type 1 runs in my family, I was diagnosed hypoglycemic in my teens. I developed gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my son and now am Type 2. Yes, I could have been more careful with my diet over the years, though I have always dieted and stayed fairly thin, but chances are good that I would have developed Type 2 anyway. So could Paula Deen have done something to prevent her disease? Maybe. But no one but her Dr will ever truly know that. And just because she continued hosting her cooking show after her diagnosis does not necessarily mean she eats like that every meal of every day. All we see on her show is her TV persona. To my knowledge none of us here know her personally or have seen what she deals with off camera.

on January 20, 2012

I completely disagree with the idea that Paula Deen could have prevented this, that her diabetes is her fault. Yes, while being overweight and eating poorly can possibly lead to diabetes, it does not necessarily lead to diabetes. And as people here have stated, you can also get Type 2 while still being very, very healthy.

No one knows why Paula decided to come out now and tell her medical story. Maybe she thinks that by being a spokesperson, she is helping people. I also think that this woman has a ton of money already, so I'm not so sure I'm willing to say she's doing this for the money.

Anyway, clearly this is a hot button topic for a lot of people. Thank you, Snack Girl, for allowing all of us to discuss this here! Thanks again for your amazing blog that teaches us all so much1

on January 20, 2012

Aw, poor Paula. she grew up in a different era, in the SOUTH (nutrition ignorance double whammy). Balance is the KEY, & its different for everyone. I enjoy snack-girl, keep it up.

on January 20, 2012

That is Paula's buisness and millions Americans get type 2 diabetes. She will deal with it and do what she has to do and who are we to judge!!

on January 20, 2012

Ms. Deen has the power to affect a tremendous audience; that is why she got the gig as the diabetes drug spokesperson. With that power, to be perpetually pushing such unhealthy food - including to children - is shameful. Her own son now has a show called "Not My Momma's Cooking" and we all know what that means from the title; it will be healthy food. Yes, its a free country but its getting more expensive as we pay the billions of dollars a year it costs to handle the medical disasters our food habits are engendering.

The worst part of all this is that Ms. Deen seems to be denying that her food choices need to change. So what is the message to diabetics; taking medicine is enough?

on January 20, 2012

To all the people saying that we don't know what caused her to get diabetes, while yes, there are other causes, we all have seen her up every risk factor. This would be the same as a chain smoker with a family history of cancer crying victim when they inevitably get lung cancer. Yes, there are other factors, but she upped every controllable one.

on January 20, 2012

Doesn't surprise me - she's always hawking and eating fatty foods, how weird we didn't find out sooner!

I can't stand Ms. Deen (I don't hate her, don't wish any harm done to her - she just plain annoys me). She could've used this as a chance to offer healthier cooking, and even diabetic-friendly versions of her "Southern" cuisine. But now that she can earn a pretty penny from some drug company - she comes off as cynical.

I must say, I'm with Anthony Bourdain's blasting words about her - When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got Type 2 diabetes ... it's in bad taste if nothing else.

on January 20, 2012

I found out I had Diabetes 2 last May. I'm not a big time chef, but I was a pretty good cook (cooking just like Paula Deen did). I also had a kidney transplant donated by my daughter in 2006. I was overweight, high blood pressure, no exercise, high cholesterol, etc. It was time to change.

I changed my ways of cooking, eating and living. Exercise is my friend now, not my enemy. I eat veggies more than meat. The weight came off, the cholesterol came down, my energy went up and I feel the best I have ever felt. I didn't want the drugs. I asked my doctor if I could manage my diabetes with diet and exercise and I've done it. My A1C is within the normal range and I keep a close eye on my blood sugars. Yes, Paula is a good person, I believe, but no, she should not have come out 3 years later with a paid sponsor.

on January 20, 2012

"Aw, poor Paula. she grew up in a different era, in the SOUTH (nutrition ignorance double whammy). Balance is the KEY, & its different for everyone. I enjoy snack-girl, keep it up."

Oh indeed, we ignorant Southerners! Whereas everyone knows how healthy knishes, Coneys, pasta, pizza & all those yummy foods from other parts of the country are for us. lolol

FYI: Ignorance isn't limited to a certain spot on the map. All you have to do is read the comments on here from people who honestly believe you can eat your way to diabetes. I know plenty of people who outweigh me 100 or 150 pounds & are not diabetic. All overweight people are not diabetic, for Pete's sake.

on January 20, 2012

Hope, we are just saying that eating that filth doesn't help her. Again, with smoking, there are people that survive smoking their whole lives without any complications. Doesn't mean it is a smart move and that all the people who do smoke and have cancer are unrelated.

If you do not look after your body and get ill, you have no one to blame but yourself. If you don't but don't get ill (yet), don't view it as a sign to continue.

Also, it's not just that the food was fattening. It was unbelievably sugary, fatty, cholesterol levels that shouldn't be possible.

So no,, fat =/= diabetic, but it is definitely related.

on January 20, 2012

I haven't read all the above comments but would like to say a couple of things. When I was diagnosed with type II diabetes I felt my world was coming apart. Now, almost thirty years in and still acting like I don't have it I have to say it's about time I do. Over the years of diabetes support groups and the excellent educators with my doctor's office I have learned that I have to know as much as my doctor and that I can adjust my insulin myself up and down as needed. The vegan approach that Dr. Neal Barnard writes about made the biggest difference to me. I, for one, can't lose weight unless I cut down on my insulin and I can't cut back on my insulin without changing what I eat. Pills are really the same and I think it's harder for people to see the connection.

on January 20, 2012

I just read an article in People magazine about PD, and she took a YEAR to even tell her husband and kids, so clearly she had some issues she needed to deal with prior to telling her family, much less the public.

I can't vilify someone who comes down with a disease. Nobody "deserves" it.I just hope PD continues to grow in her knowledge of her disease and stays as healthy as possible.

on January 20, 2012

Melissa, I don't think anyone is saying she deserves it, just that she can't be shocked. From what the public can see, she made lifestyle choices that practically begged for this.

on January 20, 2012

I think the point was simply that promoting unhealthy foods or choices and then promoting drugs as the panacea is not a good thing to do.

on January 20, 2012

It's really not that deep. She's hawking drugs for diabetes because she wants money, just as she hawked (and apparently will continue)disgusting deep-fried butter because it made her rich. What this really highlights is that people in this country will do or say pretty much ANYTHING if you pay them enough. The fact that Paula Deen had a nice fake smile and a cute accent while encouraging an already obese country to kill itself doesn't make her any better than the doctors who swore that cigarettes were healthy back in the day. It's pitiful that people defend this woman or actually look any further than the literal MILLIONS she's made and is now adding to simply by being sick. Just pathetic all around.

on January 20, 2012

My dad has type 2 diabetes. My mother cooked like Paula Deen all of my life. I had a major wake up call when one day about five years ago, while visiting my parents, I saw my dad count out his daily pills... around 20 pills. I came home, weighed myself, and at age 50, started weight watchers. I lost 55 lb, changed my lifestyle, and am so thankful I did. While Paula Deen is a likeable personality, her type of yummy, gooey, fattening cooking has put too many of us into health bankruptcy. I don't have a problem with her being the spokesperson for a drug company, I do have a problem that she announced she will never substitute butter. I believe she should turn this around and promote healthy choices to prevent others from winding up like her.

on January 21, 2012

1) I'm a Paula fan

2) I don't think she eats what she cooks on TV every meal.

Paula's shows are about old-school, full-flavored, Southern comfort cooking. Totally OK in moderation. If she really only ate what we see on TV, she would have developed diabetes much sooner.

I kind of feel that only those people who want to think that the TV persona is all there is to her are the ones hating on her for hiding her diagnosis and hawking the drug.

Finally, my Great-great Aunt, born in 1896, put sugar and butter on EVERYTHING she ate, no joke. She lived to age 95, healthy as a horse until the last 9 months. Genetics and other health issues or medication can play a role here, too.

I'm going to continue to make Paula's dishes for cheat days and parties with no guilt. I can't think of a food that hugs you better on a down day than fried bacon-Mac-n-cheese balls. :-)

on January 21, 2012

Check out my post on how Paula can "save" herself! HA HA.

on January 21, 2012

I am very disappointed in how Paula Dean handled her diagnoses of Diabetes. She could have been a very positive role model for everybody if she had shared that inforamtion and changed some of her cooking methods or stressed that these should be consumed only on rare occasions. Perhaps this is why her sons have come out with a new show promoting healther versions of their mother's food?? At least they are taking it seriously and being responsible.

on January 21, 2012

Make me Melissa three. No one is tied to a chair and forced to cook nor eat what she makes. As far as her medical condition goes, that is confidential information and she has no obligation to disclose what she does not want to. I am sick and tired of people blaming others for choices they make. This is still America (sort of) and we have the freedom to make choices. I love watching Paula. I do not make her food, and if I do, I tweak it to make it healthier. Get over it people. Your weight problem is most of the time your own doing.

on January 21, 2012

I agree that medical conditions are their own personal business so if she wants it to be "private" but why is she now promoting a diabetes medication and but not changing the most obvious thing - her cooking show? It seems contradictory. If she wants it to be private then don't be a spokesperson for a drug company. I don't have a weight issue because I don't cook anything that she makes.

on January 21, 2012

Excellent! Thanks for the sane view point.

on January 21, 2012

Sad but true! This is the all too real reality of making poor healthy decisions and cooking choices. in all this i hope people are encouraged to put down the stick up butter and start eating healthier! www.alwayshealthymom.com We need more positive healthy role models!!!!

on January 21, 2012

For the record, you can "catch" lung cancer from smoking. You merely develop a great likelihood of developing it.

on January 21, 2012

I read a People magazine article that she has made changes in her diet, she has started exercising, and we have no idea what her new season of her show will be like.

I just feel bad that she's dealing with an illness, goes public with it, and gets slammed. People do what they know; when they know better, they do better. (I think that's a Maya Angelou quote-ish). I hope that she will change her ways, and also change her tv cooking show ways. Let's give her time to see what happens.

There are a lot of cooks on tv who are not remotely healthy cooks. Anyone who cooks a nice juicy steak is certainly not promoting a healthy lifestyle. Hamburgers? Meatballs? Bacon anything? And being a vegetarian or vegan would be much healthier for everyone. That doesn't mean people have to do it, nor do we need to scald people who develop a disease due to their lifestyles. Unless every single person in this world is willing to become a vegan and exercise daily, no one has the right to point fingers at others in the healthcare cost debate.

on January 21, 2012

I agree with Melissa (1). My friend has lung cancer and never smoked a day in her life. My grandmother smoked and lived to 94. I believe some people are predestined to have certain illnesses. I also can't imagine how Paula would be to blame for what anyone else eats. My mom and I love to see what she cooks but have only made one of her recipes.Paula Deand and Mark Bitman are making money from their personal situations, just in different ways. Nothing new here.

on January 21, 2012

It's a shame that she has developed such an awful illness (and more of a shame that it could have been prevented with better lifestyle and diet choices) but that's what they are--choices. I choose to like Paula Deen (she has such a sweet persona!) but I also choose not to cook most of her recipes; the ones I do make are of course in moderation. Almost everyone I can think of is smart enough to realize that if they made all of the things on her show they'd end up in the same situation. Let's not be so judgemental of Paula (or anyone else for that matter); just google her and you'll find out her parents both died young, she became terrified of death and food was something she used for comfort. Things aren't always as simple as "lose weight and eat kale chips, Paula!".

on January 22, 2012

She became terrified of death so dug her own grave.

on January 22, 2012

Sharon, obviously some people do stupid things and live, some people do sensible things and don't. Doesn't change the fact that some actions have potential consequences.

on January 22, 2012

This post is disturbing to me in so many ways. Let's take the melanoma patient... How many of us say, "well, what a fool, looks like he got what he had coming..."? Hopefully none of us. However, it's just fine to slam a fat person for getting diabetes? This just makes me so sad. I honestly cannot believe the negative comments on here.

on January 22, 2012

I had started a comment earlier and then deleted it. But I am disturbed by the negative comments as well as the media firestorm about this.

As a nurse, I have seen people grow into their knowledge of their disease and I hope that's what we see from Paula Deen as a celebrity who now has a known disease.

I just feel like this attitude that "well she deserved it based on her cooking" is so mean spirited. I just hope that, God forbid, if someone you love comes down with some disease, that no one says that about them. It's not productive. What is productive is, how are you going to change moving forward? Paula Deen saying she's not going to give up butter is not horrible. I'm hoping she meant, she is not going to use AS MUCH butter as she used to. But let's see what happens without so much judgement.

on January 22, 2012

I agree with the comments here about not judging Paula and that she "caused" this disease. I think I would feel better about the whole thing if she wasn't going to become a spokesperson for a diabetes drug rather than focusing on lifestyle changes. That's what I find questionable. Bad things happen to people and nobody deserves that.

on January 22, 2012

I'm not, & don't think the majority of those opposed to Paula's actions, suggesting she deserves an illness. The negatives seem to be focused on her choosing not to change her lifestyle, or at least not publicly, until now when she's the spokesperson for a drug. Such action supports the mindset that "hey, let's just pop a pill & everything's ok".

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/01/19/diabetics-c…

on January 22, 2012

Jo, I agree! However, tere were some previous comments that were implying others were being negative when suggesting that Paula change her lifestyle, etc. and judging her too harshly. By her promoting this medication before making the lifestyle changes publicly only reinforces the mentality that a pill will cure everything.

on January 22, 2012

First of all, diabetes is serious. I've read statistics that 1 of 4 Americans will have diabetes. Obesity is the #2 cause of preventable death in the United States. For most (not all) who have type 2, lifestyle changes will help. I think Snack Girl is trying to point out that it is borderline immoral for a public figure to profit from a disease that is a killer. Snack Girl offers her another route, which is to campaign to change her fatty foods for healthy choices. Yes, Paula Deen has a right to privacy but she loses that right when she promotes big pharma vs. promoting weight loss and healthy living. You don't get to have your cake and eat it, too. http://www.getamericafit.org/statistics-obesity-in-america.… By the way, this is not the first time Paula Deen has gotten into hot water for promoting products. http://savannahnow.com/news/2007-12-11/union-pickets-paula-… I think this is a tough conversation but a needed one. You go, Snack Girl!

on January 22, 2012

Whoever mentioned melanoma, atleast around where I live, people do say that someone had it coming if they were the kind to go out frequently and burn/tan.

It's common knowledge what causes, how to avoid, and again, while it's not guaranteed that sun = cancer, you should still minimise your risk.

on January 22, 2012

I don't think anyone has touched on this yet: to me it seems that running straight into becoming a drug spokesman and still cooking the same foods is like telling America 'hey, eat the same and take the drugs; it'll all be all right'. It's not. My mom, brother, aunt, & grandfather have Tupe 2. The drugs have side effects. Changing your eating habits can reverse Type 2 diabetes for some. I will never eat like Paula Deen, not even on Sundays.

on January 22, 2012

Yes, Mel, I think a couple of us have said that or something similar. I totally agree with what you wrote. Many people think it's the easy "cure" to take a pill, but you're correct, they all have side effects and if you continue with the same life style, the pill will not have the same benefits.

on January 22, 2012

I don't watch Food Network anymore because the chefs are getting too unpractically unhealthy for me (if that makes any sense). However, when I used to watch it all the time (in college), Paula was never one whose show I frequented. Her recipes just seemed way too extreme and unnecessary to be something I wanted to eat. But, really now, it's NOT just her. Look at Anne Burrell, The Neelys, Guy Fieri, and even Rachael Ray. None of them promote recipes you could eat everyday and maintain your weight and health. While cooking at home is SO much better than eating out, a lot of the food they promote is not much better than eating out anyway.

on January 22, 2012

I am a Type 2 Diabetic as is my husband. I have increased my fiber intake (husband resists it) and try to make recipes more in tune w/ what is good for me. But, it is easier to say, don't eat than not eating at all. Southern cooking is very different than the rest of the country. Paula Deen picked herself up out of poverty and "made" something of herself. I personally love her program, but, let's use the channel as it should be, as a learning tool. I admire her audacity and spunk. No one puts a gun to your head to make these recipes; as mentioned above, any recipe can be adapted for someone's lifestyle: skim milk instead of cream, yogurt instead of sour cream, egg substitute instead of eggs, etc. And, just as a a reference: Mark Bittman is on the Cooking C_ _ _ _l, and he is fun to watch. As a note, the media is too intrusive in people's lives! We have become a public of "voyeurs?" (spelled right)? Whew!!!!

on January 24, 2012

Sparkina said: Oh, and another thing. Fatty though Paula D's cuisine may be, she uses REAL ingredients rather than processed 'goop'".

Are you kidding me? Her recipes are FULL of processed goop. Her Twinkie pie is a processed goop casserole.

Like her if you must, but don't be delusional about her.

on January 24, 2012

I don't see where the upset is from what I've heard so far. I don't see the point in getting judgmental. If she made her money that way, I don't see why I should require her to downgrade her lifestyle by quitting her show altogether or not acknowledging and promoting the company that treats her disease- If I was a family member, I might want her to change the format for her own health- but as a stranger, what business is it of mine? That is her job. Why should she quit her job or risk it? Why should she avoid speaking on behalf of the company that helps her manage her disease? And, why is it my business? I don't think it is. When I first heard about her disease, I thought it was a clear message to Americans about her brand- this new venture is an even clearer message..."eat that way, and you will likely get on medication." This is the time of Dr. Oz and natural health tips everywhere- so I don't see how she's being anything other than a point of contrast which reminds people about personal responsibility. She's been clear before that she had to change the way she eats in her personal life. And, by the way, if she can't speak on behalf of the company should she be allowed to take their medication? I'm a little disturbed by how people are policing a stranger's finances, especially when none of us are sacrificing our livelihoods in the ways we expect others to.

on January 28, 2012

I didn't read any previous posts, just the original post from Snack Girl. I stumbled upon this page tonight and so far have enjoyed the recipes. I have to disagree with your post though. One should not assume she has type 2 diabetes b/c of what she cooks on a tv show that highlights southern dishes. Yes a lot are unhealthy but who says that's all she is eating? Granted she is overweight, but we don't know nor should we be privy to other health issues she may have that are beyond her control (hypothyroidism for example). It irritates me that one thinks that b/c she cooks something on tv that is who she is. So, does that correlation mean every Mercedes salesman drives a mercedes.. no and its a pretty ignorant thought process. Granted she is over weight, but who knows what she does to lower her weight, if anything, what level genetics plays a role, or what other health issues may be contributing to her weight, etc. It just seems to me that people are so harsh to point fingers and put people down. Why is she any different than any other person out there? She doesn't make anyone eat, buy, or make what she portrays on her tv show/magazine. She simply showcases dishes form her past, unique southern dishes, or recipes from friends. So what. Just like everyone else, she decides what she puts in her mouth and is in control of what she does for her health. Do, I think she needs to loose weight? yes. Do I think she better be eating foods much different than what is portrayed on her tv show? yes. But it is not up to me to make statements about what she does off the tv screen. People need to embrace the fact she has been diagnosed with such a terrible disease and encourage her to make healthy choices if in fact she has not in the past. Positivity is much better then negativity!

on January 30, 2012

I am shocked by the negative comments and how excited that some people are that they finally have an opportunity to address Paula's issues. Caution perfect people - Judgement and negativity have a way of whipping around and saying hello! Don't forget to smile when it returns to you!

on February 21, 2012


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