January 17, 2012

Paula Deen and Diabetes

In an interview on the Today show, Paula Deen, the Food Network star famous for her indulgent, down-home Southern cooking, divulged that she was diagnosed three years ago with Type 2 diabetes.

As the rumors swirled leading up to her announcement, there has been speculation that the food Paula Deen unapologetically promotes – deep fried macaroni and cheese, fried chicken and a plethora of other sugar and butter-laden extravagances – may be to blame for her current diagnosis.

SEE: Leading by Example

However, Paula Deen says that type 2 diabetes is like “Russian Roulette”. Paula Deen says, “It’s about heredity. It’s about age, lifestyle, race. I’m the only one in my family who has diabetes. My grandmother cooked and ate like I ate, and she didn’t have it.”

Paula Deen explains that since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, she has started walking on a treadmill each day and has stopped drinking sweet tea. But, she hasn’t made a lot of other changes in her eating habits because she practices moderation.

Video Source: the Today Show


So, what do you think?

Do you think the foods that Paula Deen promotes have contributed to her developing type 2 diabetes?

What type of lifestyle choices have you made to keep your family healthy?

How do you teach your children about healthy eating and exercise?

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3 Discuss

Discuss: Paula Deen and Diabetes

  1. avatar
    Kristy Carroll says:
    January 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    There are many factors that go in to play with someone who is diagnosed with diabetes. She is correct that our genetics play a huge role. People can go their whole lives eating the way Paula cooks and never get diabetes. Diet plays a large role. It can make all of the difference in the required treatment and management of the disease, but is not a miracle cure. She is the Queen of Southern Cooking! She didn’t get famous by making “Skinny Chicken-n-Dumplings”. I do not think she needs to change what she is known for because of this diagnosis. She is not making anyone sick. It is all about the choices WE make about what to put in our mouths. I love food more than anyone and struggle with my weight. It is a life long battle for some people. For others it might be smoking, or a different harmful vice. She is only responsible for her own health and if she can manage this disease responsibly, she can actually use her position to advocate for proper management as a patient. I feel certain she isn’t sitting down to deep-fried butter for dinner each night.

  2. avatar
    Courtney Schmidt, PharmD says:
    January 18, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I agree that certainly genetics plays a large role. We can’t change our genetics; we are stuck with what we’ve got. But, there are many lifestyle choices that we can make to keep our bodies as healthy as possible: eating right and getting plenty of exercise. Paula says, “I’m not your doctor, I’m you’re cook” and I get that. It’s not her fault if I’m overweight.

    But, I just wonder if a TV personality who flaunts the fabulous food that isn’t good for us makes us a little more likely to indulge. And if we keep indulging over and over again, our bodies are worse for the wear. And then, we are teaching our children to do the same.

  3. avatar
    Lei Ryu says:
    January 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I do understand her obligation to her fans is nothing beyond a personal one. Anyone who’s following her cooking show already has propensity toward this kind of food. What really bothers me is that she kept it hidden for 3 years and only came out with it as a paid spokesperson for the drug company. Obviously her priority was not one of personal ethics toward her fans but that of personal gain. I do think she did have, at a personal level, a responsibility to her fans to be open about her diabetes, which most of us know is one disease that is hugely diet related. Perhaps we all need to rethink her warm, generous Southern matron image; rather a Southern glutton at levels beyond food.

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