Last week in what was surely a surprise to very few people celebrity chef Paula Deen announced that her own cooking has given her type 2 diabetes. Deen is known for her dishes that are typically high in sugars, fat and other “diabetes inducing” ingredients.
Following that announcement Paula Deen announced that she would be countering the fat culture epidemic she helped endorse by promoting a $500-a-month diabetes drug with the slogan “Live a life that’s delicious.”
Under her new campaign Deen claims “”I-eat-what-I-like-but-in-moderation” while touting the effectiveness of the Novo Nordisk diabetes drug.
The truth is diabetes is not cured by a drug, over my life I have seen the effects of diabetes on friends and family members. Even with newer and more effective drugs on the market you can’t “live a life that’s delicious” in terms of Deen’s food without potentially causing serious side effects. That fact was recently highlighted by Karen Stabiner in the Los Angeles Times when she wrote of her father’s own fight with type 2 diabetes in which even the smallest misstep such as skipping a meal or forgetting to bring a snack to work would “derail” him. She goes on to note and I agree that “Paula Deen is small potatoes,” but at the same time shouldn’t be attempting to market “immortality to a culture that’s particularly in love with misbehaving, followed by an easy fix.”
The problem with Paula Deen is that she has lied to her supporters not once but twice, first by promoting her “down home cooking” as if those words give some magic credence to the health factors of her food and then by attempting to fix her lifestyle choice with a magical pill which she stupidly assumes will fix all of her problems and the problems of people who live her “down home cooking” lifestyle.
As Twitter user @JohnFuelsang rightfully wrote:
‘Paula Deen loves y`all so much for buying all that sickening food she’s peddled that now she’ss going to sell you the cure.’
The problem isn’t just about a few million people who have cooked a Paula Deen recipe on occasion but rather the 1 in 3 Americans that are expected to have Diabetes by 2050. In the meantime Americans are often footing the bill for Juvenile and Type 2 diabetes that can cost $174 billion annually.
Where the real issue comes into play on Paula Deen’s part is the simple fact that she is offering a band-aid and calling it a “delicious” fix. Studies have shown repeatedly that beating type 2 diabetes is often a simple case of exercise and proper nutrition, both options that cost far less than $500 a month if handled responsibly. Rather then turning her attention to a potentially more lucrative “healthy cooking” lifestyle Paula Deen has chosen to tell her supports to “take a pill” while pocketing millions for her suggestion. All the while her “moderation” suggestion will likely keep many of her fans on the pill she’s promoting for years to come when healthy eating and exercise could very well save their lives.
Case in point on her new webiste Diabetes In A New Light she highlights a seven cheese lasagna with plenty of eggs and beef and then below that option is a nice little advertisement for her diabetes drug Victoza.
The only “new light” being shed on Diabetes on behalf of Paula Deen is the fact that she obviously doesn’t understand the seriousness of the diagnosis, perhaps if she loses the lower portion of her legs to diabetes like my personal hero Chicago Cubs legend Ron Santos or has a heart attack she’ll eventually realize that a drug isn’t the solution for the long term.
In the meantime Paula Deen is continuing to push her Deep Fried Lasagna and Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf to unsuspecting readers. And her bacon burger that’s placed between two glazed donuts instead of a traditional bread bun? You guessed right if you said it’s still on her restaurants menu.
Apparently under her new plan for the future you can just grind up some Victoza after cooking her recipes, sprinkle the medicine over top of your food and enjoy a heaping serving of Lasagna.
Do you find Paula Deen’s complete lack of respect for type 2 Diabetes to be a bit unnerving and even self serving?