Paula Deen’s Diabetes Scandal, Your Thoughts ?

Newspapers, Tv, and social media are ablaze with the news of Paula Deen’s diabetes. If you haven’t heard the news, Deen was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes three years ago and kept it from the public all this time. I believe that public personas have just as much right as anyone else to keep their medical issues private. But when said public personas are promoting an unhealthy lifestyle that could very well lead to a disease, or even worse have seen the results firsthand of such a lifestyle, all while profiting is just morally wrong.

Admittedly I have been pretty neutral on Paula Deen. I don’t watch her show, read her site or buy her products. Her recipes are not ones that appeal to me or ones I would cook for my loved ones, too unhealthy for me. I wouldn’t call myself a fan but I do admire her story, accomplishments and charm. She seems like a nice enough person.

However, I do have to question her motives for not coming forward with this information sooner. The highly profitable empire Paula has built for herself is no secret. Such an empire and wealth could be tough to sacrifice or let slip right out of your hands. (especially when you have built if from poverty) Right? At the same time how can one live with such hypocrisy? Let alone the knowledge that the very thing you are promoting, indulging in, all with a huge smile is leading to bad health for an already unhealthy society. Could it all really be about the most obvious reason, money? Money can make people do funny things.

Let’s address those obvious reasons. Coming out and telling people, Hey y’all, you know that unhealthy food I have been showing you how to cook? Well, turns out it is really bad for you. And guess what?, I now have Type 2 Diabetes because of my unhealthy lifestyle. That could lead to a drop in ratings, drop in product sales and the tarnish of the Paula Deen name brand. All equating to drop in profits and not a good thing for any business person. So perhaps keeping it a secret is best, huh?

On Paula Deen’s website is a letter to her fans addressing the Diabetes issue. Her attitude of not letting the disease control her life is great. But honestly the short message was not enough. Instead it was used to promote her new “Diabetes in a New Light” website, where she will be adding “a little bit of a lighter touch” to some of her recipes. Once you land on her new website you get greeted with a video message from Paula. The video is disappointing. Instead of really addressing the issue she is promoting her new joint venture with a pharmaceutical company.

So let’s get this straight, for three years she continued to promote that horribly unhealthy lifestyle all while making sure people bought her products and watched her on television. Had she come out with this news three years ago it would have meant three years of lost profits. So conveniently three years after the diagnosis she has a whole new website, line of recipes and teamed up with a very profitable healthcare corporation. Which did I mention is one of the drug companies that makes Diabetes drugs? Go to the drug’s website and there she is, Paula, helping promote the drug. But of course Paula isn’t going to work for free, you better believe that joint venture is bringing in a whole lot of money for the Paula Deen brand.

Paula recently told the Today show and PEOPLE the following, “I could’ve walked out and said, ‘Hey y’all, I have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes,’ and walked away,” “But having given myself time to work with my family, talk with my family, now I feel like I have something to bring to the table.” Yeah. Money. And lots of it.

On her Today show appearance she was also joined by a Dr. whom said the following, “…being overweight in particular is probably the most define risk factor for Diabetes?” Last time I checked Paula is known for her fatty, high caloric recipes, which lead to weight gain. When asked if she would change the way she cooks and eats, she didn’t give a clear cut answer. She instead stated that she has always said to “eat in moderation…I’ve always eaten in moderation.” But even for people suffering from certain diseases moderation can lead to bad results in the end. Besides promoting things such as “Everything’s Better with Bacon” and “Everything’s Better with Butter” is not moderation. Perhaps the constant promotion of her new venture, which will lead to new profits, should have been in moderation.

Keeping health risks and results, of the unhealthy food she promotes, from her fans and other people while profiting is wrong. It is a message of , it is okay to profit as much as possible and if you’re irresponsible  along the way, well that’s just fine. Uhm, hello! Normal everyday people look to and up to public personas to guide them or inspire their lives. Teaming up with a Diabetes drug and not coming out, straightforwardly, telling people that it isn’t just a matter of taking your pill and “moderation” is the wrong message. Moderation and pill popping does not equal a cure. (Diabetes runs in my family so I understand “moderation” and pills are not the solution.) It is much more complicated and individually based than that.

I haven’t had a face to face conversation with Paula Deen, and only she knows the wholehearted truth of why the revelation of her diagnosis has been handled the way it has been. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, but people should also be held responsible for their actions. Paula isn’t herself putting sticks of butter into people’s mouths. Nor is she personally responsible for people’s food choices. It is not my business or concern that Paula or any other human being chooses to eat fatty or what I may consider unhealthy foods. The choice is theirs and theirs alone. The problem with this whole scandal is profit. For three years Paula was well aware that her “product” caused her Diabetes, and instead of being honest with people she chose profit. In her video message she also states that she will be there for her fans suffering from Diabetes. Well, where was she the past 3 years? Oh yeah, cashing those checks. It isn’t a matter of so called food elitists “out to bash” Paula for eating loads of butter and sugar it is a matter of those three years of profit.

Call me cynical but it is pretty hard to ignore how this whole perfectly orchestrated campaign has transpired. Only time will tell if Paula, all while rolling in her money, will actually do something good to bring awareness to a healthier lifestyle and a growing Diabetes epidemic. Here’s hoping she does.

 

*What are your thoughts or opinion on this whole fiasco?*

**UPDATE: After some of your feedback I feel that perhaps my point hasn’t gotten across. This is the analogy I used in one of my comments reply:

“It isn’t about what Paula Deen, or others, choose to eat. That isn’t my or anybody else’s concern. Maybe the easiest way to illustrate my point is to make an analogy.

Imagine you have a famous person who promotes cigarette smoking. Every time you see them they are telling people how wonderful and tasty their brand of cigarettes are, and encouraging others to just smoke up, earning lots of profits along the way.

Then a few years on, this person suddenly announces:

“Hey y’all. Just wanted to share with you that I’d been diagnosed with lung cancer 3 years ago. Sorry I hid that from you. But hey, look, now I’m partnering with a pharmaceutical company that has wonderful new cancer drugs and I highly recommend their products to you — just click the banner to the right!”

This celebrity’s lung cancer may or may not have been caused by smoking. Same with Paula’s Diabetes. But in either case there is no medical question that the lifestyle each promoted increased the chances of such a condition developing – and the idea of profiting from first promoting such a lifestyle, and then again from treatment of a condition possibly caused by that lifestyle, while all along hiding the fact from your audience that you had such a condition yourself is… at the very least, immoral and unethical.”

Comments

  1. says

    She is capitalizing again, first its heart attack on a plate, now she has run out of unhealthy foods to write about for her in life this will be a unfortunate new adventure to learn a new way of eating cooking and living by moderation. I think in time people will see that just eating too much of the same ways cause alot of health issues. Just for example, I had high cholesteral and blood pressure at 120 pounds and short. Now eating right, actually vegetables, the best fats and walking everyday, my blood pressure without meds and cholesteral are perfect. I could always be better on Cholesterol But it went from 300 to 167 on eating right. Paula may have this in her background hereitary, but can be controled by diet. My mom was a big woman, diabetic at 64 it catches up. Diet got her off insulin. So I speak from experience… I am sure there is much more to come on this..
    Great aritcle, very interesting to see the other comments to come…

    • says

      Thank you Claudia for sharing your thoughts. I’m sure there is much more to come. Like I said I just hope she actually does good and is honest from now on with her following.
      I too am interested in seeing what other’s have to say.

    • says

      Hi Helene, You can Google her and see that the very food she promotes is a big factor of her Diabetes. But my point with this article was more about the 3 years she kept promoting and making money from it. In my eyes that is just so horribly wrong.

  2. says

    Great post. Diabetes Type 1 runs in my family and is genetic, not as a result of lifestyle or diet choices. This revelation by Paula Deen is completely shocking and disgusts me, of course it is all about capital gain and her PR agency recognized this from the outset. Obesity and diabetes is an epedemic, and anyone in the media spotlight I feel has a moral obligation to act responsibly with their recipe archive, within reason. Especially someone whose recipes are COMPLETELY unhealthy most of the time AND a diagnosed diabetic herself. As society grows fatter and diabetes doubles in number, so do the drug companies bank accounts.
    Maybe this controversy itself has doubled Paula Deens bank account also.

  3. says

    Oh, boy this set me off this morning so I apologize for this long reply.

    First, how do we know her eating habits caused this? I’ve known skinny folks with this illness, not as common as those who aren’t skinny but they do exist. Also I don’t think she’s put on weight suddenly three years ago. Why the illness three years ago and not a decade or so? Not every overweight person gets diabetes nor has high blood pressure or other problems.

    Second, I get a bit tired of the foodies jumping on the over weight folks out there — really? Do we actually read our own blogs and see what we promote every day sometimes? We are always promoting food and guess what is the lifestyle cause of weight gain? Eating more calories than you burn which is quite easy to do in this modern world. When we are surrounded by food and encourage eating by our own posting about food, why are we surprised that people love food. Look at us over at The Chocolate Cult — CHOCOLATE, sure we try to help folks practice purpose and moderation but we even fall short from time to time. I’d be the last person qualified to throw stones (if you know the biblical reference).

    Third, of course she kept this a secret. She makes her living promoting certain types and styles of food. Doesn’t make it correct to hide facts from her fans but it completely logical for her to do so from a business standpoint. The question now: will her fans keep following? If not, did she invest or save her money wisely so it won’t matter from a financial viewpoint.

    Finally, while we interviewed a celebrity chef this week to host a giveaway (I hope everyone enters) I’m not a big follower of celebrity chefs in general. I make what I hope my family will eat and I try to make it healthier and enough of it to cut back on the late night snacking for every one in my house. I don’t grok the entire “a celebrity told me to do this so I must” idea. People who watched Paula Deen and used her recipes made that choice, sure she made it look fun and tasty but she didn’t force them to use her recipes or eat the food. I don’t think I’ve ever made one of her recipes or bought her packaged food before simply because I wasn’t interested.

    • says

      Hi,
      No need for apologies, my intention was to let people voice their opinions :)

      But you’ve missed my point. It isn’t about what Paula Deen, or others, choose to eat. That isn’t my or anybody else’s concern. Maybe the easiest way to illustrate my point is to make an analogy.

      Imagine you have a famous person who promotes cigarette smoking. Every time you see them they are telling people how wonderful and tasty their brand of cigarettes are, and encouraging others to just smoke up, earning lots of profits along the way.

      Then a few years on, this person suddenly announces:

      “Hey y’all. Just wanted to share with you that I’d been diagnosed with lung cancer 3 years ago. Sorry I hid that from you. But hey, look, now I’m partnering with a pharmaceutical company that has wonderful new cancer drugs and I highly recommend their products to you — just click the banner to the right!”

      This celebrity’s lung cancer may or may not have been caused by smoking. Same with Paula’s Diabetes. But in either case there is no medical question that the lifestyle each promoted increased the chances of such a condition developing – and the idea of profiting from first promoting such a lifestyle, and then again from treatment of a condition possibly caused by that lifestyle, while all along hiding the fact from your audience that you had such a condition yourself is… at the very least, immoral and unethical.

  4. says

    I am fairly appalled, even though I never made a Paula Deen recipe in my life and hardly ever watch her show (if so, then it’s on at the gym). She has a right to privacy, yes, but promoting this kind of nutrition for 3 years until she found a major money-making deal in pharmaceuticals? That’s just wrong and she should be more responsible to her fans than that. Besides, this would have been her chance to be such a role model for many Americans that could relate to her, and instead all she does is get a pharma deal.

  5. says

    Wow – I hadn’t heard this. I watch her show once in awhile, but her cooking style is so far removed from mine that I’m not a fan. It will be interesting to see how this news impacts her business and her show.

  6. says

    My opinion is simple. I love her. I love her open adoration of food, especially butter. She is also a warning of what all of that naughty food can do to a body. Overweight, and now diabetic (BUT – her diabetes could be hereditary!!). Do I blame her for keeping it a secret? Who doesn’t have secrets? Haven’t we all watched Oprah yoyo diet? She promoted some horrid all- liquid diet for a while, which as we all know is NO substitute for whole foods. Do we still love Oprah at her current, plushy weight? YES! It is okay to have secrets. It is okay to be human, and it is ok to finally bring that information to light, embrace it, and if you happen to be a public figure…hit a pay-dirt. I don’t care about that.
    Maybe we will see a “Paula Dean Diabetic Cook Book”? THAT would be wonderful for our diabetic friends. Let’s see the positive in our community, and hope that not everyone is an evil person. Just embarrassed…..and we all have a right to keep our health issues to ourselves.

    XOXO to all my foodblogging friends!!!
    MissyMaki

    • says

      You have every right to love Paula or Oprah, or whomever. You have every right to eat what you want. That is not my or anyone else’s business. No one is perfect, of course.

      But you are missing my point. You can refer to the long comment reply and analogy I made above.

      I’m sure that Diabetic cookbook will be coming out soon. But yet again that is part of this whole unethical means of handling her situation. So she’ll continue to profit from her lie, how sad. Frankly, there isn’t much positive that I can take right now. Hopefully she will end up doing some good so there is something positive in the end. We shall see.

      I’m all for love and support of our food blogging or food community. But let’s not be blind and really understand what goes on around us.

      Thanks for stopping by Missy!

  7. says

    Even though I watched her lately with Dr. oz, I was not sure that she was suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. I stopped watching her shows when I found her using tons of butter, cream, cheese and frying her meat with skin on. May be that is the reason that her sons are also promoting healthy recipes on TV( I watched two of them in DR. OZ). Emeril Lagasse has also changed his style of cooking. Good for all of us.

    • says

      Her style isn’t for everyone and the great thing is that we have a choice to watch her or not to watch. But the problem is how all of this has been handled.

      I do hope that she and others suffering from Diabetes can find a healthy life and one they are happy with.

  8. FriedFoodLover says

    Uh, ya. First off let me make it clear I LOVE the kinda cooking Paula does. I love butter, love fried anything, and hallelujah, give me more! I’m aware of the health risks and accept them with a smile- short life maybe but a darn merry one!

    But this is not the point here folks. Seriously, to the posters defending this woman: Are we Americans so used to being screwed over, manipulated and exploited that we just become so numb that we don’t even realize when it’s happening and actually sympathize with the perpetrator? If she came out and said she’d been just diagnosed with diabetes like a week ago and this was causing her to re-evaluate things, we’d all be showing sympathy! If she then later came out with a revised culinary vision that aimed to create such tasty chow as hers in a way that herself and others with her condition could still enjoy it we’d all support and cheer her on!

    But that ain’t what’s happened here peeps. She hid the condition for 3 YEARS while pimping this unhealthy eating and now starts pimping drugs to combat a disease it causes. Damn people! What part of this don’t y’all get? Drugs companies are now THE MOST PROFITABLE INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES. Are you aware of that? Hell, Mrs. Deen is probably just a much a victim here as the rest of her audience. She’s being exploited by a drug maker, she in turn exploits her fans. Only difference ‘tween her and her fans is SHE’S GETTING RICHER, and that’s makes her an accomplice.

    Get yer heads out of sand and see the obvious. Sheesh!

    Now, returning to my starting point I love fried food and believe we’re all responsible for what we put in our mouths- which in my case is going to be a fried egg sammich with bacon all fried in butter soon as I click that little submit button.

  9. says

    I have been running a personal training business for 23 years, specializing in training physique athletes (bodybuilder, fitness, figure, bikini athletes). I can honestly say that I have several Paula Dean recipes saved to my Evernote recipe file and use several of them often. Knowing how to cook, making healthy substitutions if necessary and knowing the actual per serving impact of the ingredients is important to healthy cooking. Choosing to eat “not so healthy” foods once in a while is not such a bad thing (we love Paula’s Chicken Pot Pies and make them once a year on a good snow day, yummy, then we go snow shoeing!). Who knows why she chose to conceal for 3 years but think of what a great business opportunity she has now!! I hope to see her lose weight and bring in more overweight viewers to see how she did it!

    • says

      Hi Christine, Good for you for understanding what works best for you and your family’s health.

      But I don’t think that “what a great business opportunity she has now!!” is a good thing. She’ll continue to profit from the lie. Its just more fuel for the fire, so to speak.

      Yes, I too hope that she gets healthy for her sake. Whatever she chooses to do about her Disease it her choice alone. If in the end she helps out overweight viewers be healthier and most importantly happier, well then that is a good thing. All we can do is wait and see.

  10. says

    At the risk of seeming cynical, it is not surprising Ms. Deen has diabetes, given her diet, nor that she hid it and has found a way to profit from it, given the industry she work in – about which we know more than a little. That said, we’re sorry to hear of her illness, it’s not something to wish on anyone. While we don’t share her cooking philosophy it can’t be denied – at least by us – that once in a while a butter, fat and sugar laden something hits the spot and if that’s your craving there may be no better source than MS Deen. We need to be careful who we insist be our role models, whether sports figures, movies stars, politicians or food show hosts they are all far from perfect and it seems easy to accept their authority simply because of their positions rather than exercising our own common sense.

    • says

      You make some great points.

      Of course Diabetes, nor any other disease, is something I would wish on anybody. I do wish her the best concerning her health.

      Don’t get me wrong I do love bacon, butter,fatty foods and indulging in sweet desserts. But I am also not a public persona out profiting and promoting it all. You are correct on “need to be careful who we insist be our role models” No body is perfect, but at the same time those so called rolls have to be aware of what message they are sending out.

  11. says

    I never cooked Paula’s recipes, what I liked was her TV personality..In my own opinion no, that was not OK from her to keep on going the way she was with unhealthy foods. She puts way too much butter that only lunatic would use in one recipe. Instead she should of find healthy alternatives that would help her and others through this.
    Nancy, that was very interesting article and very well written. I hear you and your massage and 100% agree!

  12. says

    My husband and I discussed this issue last night and find it ironic that she now comes out with her diabetes just as there is a profit to be turned while working with a pharm company.
    Any respect I had for her and her story is lost as I see her gravitating completely to her empire and making of money.

    It all really just disgusts me.

  13. says

    There has been documented cases showing the correlation for certain types of diabetes and diet, ya’ll!!!! Hello South Beach Diet??

    I totally agree with you Nancy, and I’m waiting to hear that Ina Garten has heart disease or diabetes, as well. I significantly modify their recipes (and others) when I feel like it has too much fat or sugar. Unfortunately, most of the U.S. does not do this.

    Paula Deen won’t take a hit financially from her adoring fans, but she will lose the respect from foodies. Moderation is the key, but that doesn’t mean you can eat a dish where one serving is equal to a stick of butter “once in awhile.”

    And, on a different note, my mother-in-law (who is Persian) can’t stand Paula Deen’s accent. It’s rather humorous to hear how non-Americans view her!

    • says

      Thank you Laura. It would be sad to hear Ina Garten had either diseases, hopefully she also would only think in profits.

      Paula’s diehard supports will be just that all the way to the end. So be it, they have the right to love her. My problem is jut the way she has and will continue to profit from it all.

  14. says

    Now, THIS is a good discussion and what the Internet world of food blogging should be more about …

    As for this Paula Deen revelation, I’m seeing it two ways. The woman is human and she makes mistakes – just look at her past life, her dietary decisions, and the main theme of her cooking programs. For a woman her age, with her weight, and her dietary lifestyle to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes is hardly a surprise. That being said, the ethics of continuing on business-wise as if all is rosy is really wrong. Period.

    The reality, though, is that every business person makes mistakes. It is just her sad situation of being in the public eye that has created this firestorm of media attention and public outcry. Her challenge, now, is to make something positive come out of her public disgrace – for her fans and for her business empire. There is a way for her to continue to make money and put a positive and ethically okay strategy in place. Let’s just see if she steps up to a leaner and more healthy plate to do just that.

  15. PAULA says

    SO AGREE WITH YOU. i HAVE PROMOTED HEALTHY COOKING THRU MY COOKBOOKS. I FEEL IT A MORAL RESPONSIBILITY. I THINK THE WHOLE DEAN CAMP HAS LOST A TON OF CREDABILIT IN MY EYES, AND NOT THAT I WOULD EVER MAKE AN UNHEALTHY RECIPE, SHE LOST SIGHT OF A MORAL OBLIGATION TO PUBLIC SAFETY. MICHELLE OBAMA IS EVEN CAMPAIGNING AGAINST CHILDHOOD OBESITY.
    THE RESPONSIBLE PROFESSIONAL CHEFS KNOW THAT MODERATION IS A FOREIGN WORD TO THE COMMON PEOPLE. SHE WILL NEVER GET MY ATTENTION, MONEY SPEAKS, THE REST IS CONVERSATION…

  16. says

    Paula Deen’s health does not have any impact on my decision on what to eat. It is sad that people want to point the finger to others for their own poor choices in nutrition, they do need to stand up and take responsibility for their own actions. Oh my gosh, lets just behave like DeNiro does in his movies and then when we get shot we can sue him. Ridiculous!

    • says

      Tina, you are absolutely correct that people shouldn’t point fingers and take full responsibility for their life and decisions. I am not pointing the finger at Paula for her or other’s peoples poor nutrition choices.

      I think you missed my point. The problem is as I stated above, ” …the idea of profiting from first promoting such a lifestyle, and then again from treatment of a condition possibly caused by that lifestyle, while all along hiding the fact from your audience that you had such a condition yourself is… at the very least, immoral and unethical.”

      I am speaking about the profiting in the way she has been the last 3 years.

  17. says

    I now see your point. However, Paula Deen is not the first nor the last. She is just the only one that the media decided to expose now. Who’s next, perhaps Guy Fieri…
    We do need to be more careful about who we support with our money when it comes to food as well as a lot of other things….

  18. says

    Wow- this is the first I’m hearing of all this- never been a Paula Deen fan but the whole thing seems super irresponsible whether or not her eating habits caused the Diabetes. Diabetes is a huge health concern and she has such a huge opportunity to promote healthy eating/lifestyle change- just sad…

  19. says

    I think she had it coming. Sure, she didn’t eat everyday like how she cooked on her show, but still, if you continue to cook the way she did, it’s not going to be pretty in the end. Then again, diabetes isn’t a death sentence and many people have it for many different reasons, so it’s understandable. Both views on this matter make sense; she pretty much encouraged people to eat the food she was making. The other side is that it’s ultimately your choice to make that decision and you don’t have to eat that way everyday, a little unhealthy food here and there isn’t going to harm you. But my view is that this is her problem and people just need to back off and let her deal with it. We shouldn’t judge her (and I’m not saying that the people who are commenting on this post are).

  20. says

    I must admit, I feel a bit hypocritical on this, since my blog focuses on desserts and I have diabetes in my family (and, yes, my Mom does eat a cookie every few days or so, but she also eats her share of fruits and vegetables).

    But, the one thing I just can’t get over is I remember seeing Paula on The view around Christmas, 2010, and Barbara Walters asked her if she was worried her cookbook for KIDS sends the wrong message, and perhaps she should have included some lower fat recipes, and Paula basically made light of the question and changed the subject.

    The fact that she promoted a book for KIDS when she knew some of the consequences of eating so much calories is deplorable…and she made it worse on the Today show when she really didn’t want to talk about anything but her new website and the diabetes drug she is now plugging.

    • says

      Wow, I didn’t know she also had a book for kids. That adds another level to the matter of profiting while keeping the lie. Very interesting indeed.

      Thank you Renae for sharing your thoughts and information.

  21. says

    I couldn’t have said it better. I walked away after watching the Today Show disappointed in Paula, the media, the ratings and the message. I couldn’t bring myself to put it in words as you did. Thank you!

  22. Rescie says

    I have, personally, never thought much of Paula Dean as a chef. I have tried a dessert or two because I wanted something ‘over-the-top’ and that’swhat she delivered. Usually at Christmas. That being said, on the rare occasion I watched her I really couldn’t believe her heavy use of butter, sugar and fat. And I’ve seen her without the makeup and hair and she looks unhealthy. So, when I heard about her illness, I was not surprised. But withholding this information for 3 years? I totally agree with your assessment that it was strictly to protect her profits and I was truely disgusted by her actions. It should be interesting to see how far she’ll go to ‘profit’ from her ‘new’ situation. I know the wheels are turning on how to make her illness turn a profit and it will go beyond her affilation with a drug company, I’m sure.

    • says

      Thank you Rescie for sharing your thoughts and opinions. Let’s all hope that Paula Deen finds health and happiness. Also I am really hoping that she will do good with her new journey, there are a lot of people out there at risk or suffering from Diabetes that could use the help.

  23. says

    Very interesting post. I agree, it seems that Paula has really missed an opprotunity here. Instead of coming out three years ago, saying she had it, now lets do those same meals, make them tasty, but without 3lbs of butter. I also agree that her medical history is really her own business, but it does seem questionable that she waits until she has a sponsorship with a drug company to make a public statement. I do like Paula Deen, I have made some of her recipes (the ones not totally full of butter/cream…there are a few out there.) But like everyone, it should come as no suprise that a woman who once had a “brunch sandwich” consisting of two glazed doughnuts, a hamburger patty and cheese has gotten type 2 diabetes.

    • says

      Thank you Alyssa for your thoughts. You’ve understood my point exactly. I was not attacking her diet of choice but rather the questionable motifs behind the keeping and perfectly timed revealing.

  24. says

    I am going to have to start by saying that I do not know much about her recipes, not at all my style. Next I have to admit that I adore butter and cream, but anyone familiar with me knows that it is an occasional indulgence and I promote balance, or at least i hope they notice :) That being said I do not feel hypocritical in stating the following: Diabetes can be hereditary, but regardless diet is a huge determining factor, PERIOD! If she was diagnosed three years ago, i hope for her sake she made major changes in her diet.

    This of course would have caused great concern with her marketing team. Next, she continued to promote a diet that can be instrumental in diabetes, hereditary or otherwise. On top of that she promoted this type of diet in children, and here in the US where she reigns, children’s diet is of mass concern, and I find this highly irresponsible aside from the other issues.

    I do not wish this on anyone, but my hopes are that she can do some good forthcoming. I sincerely hope that this just does not end up a profit feast. It is impossible to know who really made these decisions with fame and money concerned. But in this case, regardless she should stand up and make a difference.

    Excellent article Nancy!

    • says

      Thank you Alisha for sharing your thoughts and opinions. Yes, you do promote balance in your recipes :)

      The promoting to children is a whole other problem that is also irresponsible. Let us hope that now she will start doing some good work at promoting or better yet, preventing childhood Diabetes. She certainly had the platform and it is just a matter of wait and see.

  25. says

    I hope this doesn’t sound too mean, but honestly anyone who was looking up to Paula Deen and using her as a guide for what to eat or how to live probably has all kinds of other problems in their life due to their lack of critical thinking skills. And it seems naive that anyone would think that anyone involved in making a brand out of themselves to the degree that Deen is would have anything other than their own best interests at heart. Rachel Ray, Giada, Taylor Lawrence – it’s all the same game. Hell, I could look a that woman and tell you she’s not healthy! And I really hope people aren’t getting their diabetes information from her. And of course I eat fattening foods sometimes … key word: sometimes. And luckily the only person influencing that decision is me!

    • says

      You know my article wasn’t meant as a way of simply bashing Paula Deen . (I know you didn’t take is that way.) Had it been any of the people you mentioned, or any one else in the public eye, even a well known blogger, I would have the same feelings. Sadly when it comes to money some people turn off their brains and lock up their hearts. How sad is that!

      In my book people can eat or do anything they want, as long as it doesn’t hurt others. You’ve made a great point about your decisions being yours, exactly! But people should also not be blind.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions Trix!

  26. says

    I definitely didn’t take it that you were bashing her – I hope that people who looked up to her take this as the opportunity to not blindly follow others and to listen to one’s own internal voice.

  27. KathE says

    The non-disclosure was bad enough (3 years?), but, to then be sponsored by a drug company.
    It seems all she cares about is the $$$.

  28. says

    And also, because I can’t shut up: it’s truly disgusting that she’s getting paid by a drug company who makes a diabetes drug. I mean seriously?? Talk about having no shame at all. She’s not happy having her mug on second rate pots and pans and crappy frozen foods?? Honestly.

    • says

      The teaming up with the drug company was the cherry on top, in my opinion. Some have said, yeah but look she’s donate some of that money to the ADA. That doesn’t make it right.

  29. says

    I think Paula like everyone else has some serious issues, every ones told her for forever her cooking is going to affect her life style and yet she still did it. I believe in personal choice and people are smart enough to know that a stick of butter and all that other crap have calorie on the back if they want to look at them they need to and need to blame themselves for these health problems, you don’t blame someone else who jumped off the building if you follow them. She’s got a whole lot of hell coming her way that no amount of money is going to fix and unfortunately Paula lives a live style that is very close to many Americans ideal of comfort. People will learn on their own time but as for her if more people continue to show their support of her products and profits is their own business, karma says it all. I try not to feed more fuel to the fire. Thank you for sharing your opinions and healthy amazing food with our world who desperately need it. Take care Nancy!

  30. says

    First of all, I feel sorry for her. Having a family full of diabetics I know how bad of a disease it is. I like her personality, but her food isn’t something I’d eat often anyways, so I don’t think it makes much of a difference to me. I totally understand what you are getting at though, it does offend me at the level. I think the hope is someone in that position would be an advocate for change, not seeming to just make a few more bucks. I think that you hope we live in that world one day (psst. I do too).
    -Gina-

  31. says

    I honestly did not know much about the situation. As someone who has dedicated the past 8 years to fighting health disparities (particularly those related to food-induced illness like diabetes), I find it personally frustrating that Deen did not seize the opportunity to promote a healthier lifestyle earlier. Additionally, as someone with “cultural” roots suggesting that “good” food has to be laden with fat and other unhealthy options, I have dedicated my blog to highlighting how good food need not be unhealthy–in ways that are culturally consistent. Deen could have been a leader in this way, and perhaps that’s what she’s trying to do now. No se.

  32. says

    Yeah it wouldn’t have looked too good for her to have come out with the truth since she has an empire built on butter. I used to watch her show a lot but I stopped because not only does she add lots of canned/pre-made foods to her recipes (not even mentioning the butter), but she’s just too fake. I couldn’t even hardly watch her on Dr. Oz a few weeks ago when she admitted she’s been a smoker since her teen years. She acts ridiculous.

    The Deen family is ALL about money and working their fans. Her son is trying to ride her coat tail now by mimicking her recipes but making them healthier. I’m over all of them.

    • says

      Sadly that would be to seem the impression they have left on many people. Let’s hope good will come out of all this.

      Thanks Jessica for sharing your thoughts :)

  33. says

    I am truly torn about this…my mother-in-law and father-in-law both have diabetes and they have always been very healthy eaters. There is NO cure for diabetes – only medicines, diet, and exercise to prevent symptoms.

    First of all; I don’t think it’s my place to judge. And second of all, celebrities are human — They get sick just like the rest of us and the fact that Paula didn’t come out and share her diagnoses with the world is her right. And now she is endorsing a pharmaceutical drug…um, what celebrity isn’t endorsing products? They ALL do! At least she is endorsing a product that she will use and need. Do you think Eva Mendes uses Pantene? Do you think Sofia Vergara uses Cover Girl? Do you think Jennifer Lopez drives a Fiat? I don’t think Paula’s diagnosis was calculated and therefore doesn’t make her immoral or unethical. My grandmother lived till she was 98 years old and all her recipes included manteca (lard). She was healthy as a horse!

    All we can do is learn from Paula’s unhealthy eating habits, and those affected with diabetes can now follow in her footsteps with healthier recipes from her sons and medicine. I wish her the best with this lifelong (chronic) disease.

    • says

      Hi Yvette,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I had initially written a quite long-winded response, then realized I was just repeating the same arguments already detailed in the original article and prior comments. Point is, if you hadn’t yet gotten the point I was making, or just choose to reject it, hearing the it re-iterated yet again isn’t going to change your view.

      Regardless of that, I cannot whatsoever agree with you that Paula Dean’s actions and timing were not unethical or immoral. Take whatever view you wish, but I feel the timing of all of this was highly suspicious and in any objective view certainly appears to have been with maximum profits in mind. While you may respond that all celebrities, sponsors, etc, are concerned with maximizing profits, I must reiterate my belief that it must be done ethically. Profiting from both “the cause and the cure” scream unethical to me.

      My opinions do not require anyone else’s agreement for me to feel right about them in my heart. That said, the fact that the preponderance of respondents both in this thread and on the published Honest Cooking article see this situation as I do suggests to me that my position is reasonable.

  34. says

    I never could figure out how people could eat all that fabulous-looking Southern food without being gi-normous. You can’t escape the calories! Oprah would always question Paula’s recipes when she was on Oprah’s show – they are just too much. What I don’t understand is why Paula didn’t come out three years ago saying, “People, what am I going to do? I have diabetes. Anybody else in this situation?” She could have made a fortune from people following her adventure to get healthy. By waiting, she comes off as calculating and detracts trust from her “brand.” Plus, pushing pills isn’t as hard or as creative as changing her actual lifestyle. That’s what people need more help on and that’s where she could have really impacted her brand and grown her trust.

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