Paula Deen – An Opportunity for Education

Paula Deen has been all over the news this week…as you may know, she went on the Today Show on Tuesday to announce that she was diagnosed with Type II diabetes three years ago.  She also used the opportunity to announce that she is now a paid spokesperson for a diabetes drug.  And have you heard about her son’s new cooking show where he takes her recipes and makes them “lighter, lean, yet still delicious” ?  I’d like to see what the lighter, leaner version of a Lady’s Brunch Burger actually is.  This little breakfast treat includes a donut, bacon, eggs, and a beef patty.  Yikes!  I think my arteries just clogged up a little.

Deen has told critics that she has always told her followers to eat her cooking recommendations “in moderation“.  While it seems that Deen waited to announce her diagnoses until she had an endorsement signed, there is a silver lining.  Deen has people talking about Type II diabetes–a disease that 25.8 million Americans have (that’s 8% of the population).  More people may talk to their doctor and get tested and the attention brought upon diabetes by Deen’s revelation may make people more aware of eating and exercise habits.  Deen told USA Today that, other than adding in daily walks and avoiding sweet tea, she hasn’t made many dietary changes saying, “I don’t want to spend my life not having good food going into my pie hole.”  Deen is choosing to modulate her diabetes through a drug rather than committing to a healthy lifestyle.  I’m not sure that’s the kind of diet and lifestyle message that is needed to combat diabetes.

Forks Over Knives posted a short YouTube video of Dr. Neal Barnard (founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine PCRM) talking about Type I and II diabetes and a brief overview of the science that supports that a plant-strong diet can help diabetes patients to bring blood sugar levels down, take off pounds, and follow a manageable and healthy eating plan.

Deen’s journey will, most likely, be a public one that will continue to unfold.  Maybe she’ll bypass butter, peach cobbler, banana pudding, and pumpkin pie and instead get her fix from the flavored lip balms she sells that come in all of the above flavors.


Questions:  What’s your take on Paula Deen?  Is she the appropriate spokesperson for a diabetes drug?  Should she re-create her recipes or stick with her signature cooking style?

Additional resources:

5 responses

  1. I hadn’t heard of her but based on what yuo’ve said, I agree that raising awareness of type 2 diabetes is a great thing but if she’s publicly not changing her lifestyle to be healthier, hmmm… maybe not the best message!

  2. I think anyone who is really trying to improve their health will make a great spokesperson. I feel so bad for her with all the bad rep she’s been getting. I really do. I haven’t even seen her show. She has a show, right? The negative publicity is like so crazy though.

  3. I have seen her show before and never once heard her speak of moderation. I recall her stirring cream into a recipe once and saying “Now don’t use any of that low-fat stuff in here!” Another time she had a stick of butter that she cut in half and slid into a recipe. Then she followed up by allowing the other have to fall in, and then sneaking in an ‘oops’ expression and then giggling about it. Moderation, my eye. Maybe now she’ll help people out, but she has done a world of damage because many people followed her example of high fat, high sugar cooking for years!

  4. Pingback: Peanut Butter Bombs | applesandarteries

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s