Paula Deen to Get Healthier After Diabetes Diagnosis? We Hope So.

paula deen diabetes
Paula Deen has long been a fan of the butter. Credit: Robert S. Donovan

It’s official. Paula Deen has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

It comes as no surprise, really. A woman who has built a career on basically reveling in the fact that she uses a lot of butter, fat, sugar and other unhealthy ingredients in her recipes can only do that—and eat like that—for so long before having her body be affected. (Heck, in her children’s cookbook, she includes a recipe for cheesecake for breakfast.) While it would be easy to scream “I told you so!” at the top of my lungs at her, I just feel sad for her. Type 2 diabetes is a serious issue, and one that so many in the country are facing.

What I don’t feel so sad about though, is that Deen will also be the new face of a diabetes drug. While she’s saying that she’ll lighten some of her recipes and will start moving more, it’s still a drug. And Deen has already said it won’t stop her from eating the things she wants. Add that to the fact that she’s had diabetes for three years—yet is just now coming out about it. (Waiting for the right promotional opportunity? Sniffs like it.) Well, that’s just not cool. It’s one thing to not take care of yourself, but it’s another to have a huge platform of influence and then encourage it among the masses even when you know the products you’re selling and creating are clearly causing harm.

Here’s the truth: Our choices have consequences. Yes, you can enjoy the fried chicken and the bacon and the rich cakes and all the butter in the world, but you’re going to pay for it later. All good things in moderation, people. All things.

What do you think about this? Mad? Sad? Happy? Not surprised? Not interested? Let’s hear it! —Jenn



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  1. I’m angry. Where does this leave her fans who don’t have Novartis picking up the cost of their meds? And, really, does anyone ever remember hearing her say anything in the past about moderation? Does she look like she’s ever practiced moderation?! It’s not ok to tell folks to have cheesecake for breakfast, even with an Rx chaser.

  2. It’s ridiculous that she just now came out about it to promote some drug. How sneaky is that? I, also, am not remotely surprised at this diagnosis. I don’t even watch her cooking show because it makes me cringe! It’s a shame that this country rewards people for destroying their health. I don’t get it.

  3. I’m surprised when people are surprised. I have no issues with making a full fat, sugar laden foods, but once in a while. Someone on a different site pointed out that when Julia Child made these kinds of dishes, she would point out how it was a great occasional treat. I don’t have cable, but apparently Paula Deen was giving the impression that it’s OK to have everyday? I think that’s the problem.

  4. Although it is unfortunate that she has developed diabetes type 2, it is her choice to continue promoting and living this unhealthy lifestyle. If people are to be influenced to make healthier choices, we need to have a positive approach to helping and educating one another. Our culture has been inundated with confusing information,scary farming practices and misleading advertising about nutrition. We should demand accurate information about the way our food is grown, prepared and sold.

  5. How she eats/cooks/prepares meals is her business – I don’t think anyone’s being pushed to consume her food unless they truly want to and those who do know it’s unhealthy and don’t mind – again, their business. BUT, I don’t like the fact that she’s been continuing to promote her cooking knowing she’s had diabetes for however long, and then announcing it at the same time there seems to be an endorsement deal. Pretty disgusting.

  6. I honestly don’t think it’s anyones business that she has diabetes actually. Her son Bobby was recently on the Chew and said, just because she cooks traditional southern cooking for her show, she’s not eating them everyday. Just like I don’t eat mashed potatoes, Turkey, apple pie everyday, they are typically held until holidays, I’m not sure why it’s a stretch to assume she doesn’t eat the types of traditional foods she cooks on a daily basis.

    Just like I don’t believe that people who have baking shows, just sit and consume mass quantities of cupcakes and cakes all day long.

  7. D, I agree with you.

    I’ve heard a few people saying weird stuff about how she kept quiet for 3 years. I’m certain that a promotional deal was a factor, but I also know people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. It takes them a while to figure out what it means for them. How do they have to eat to keep their blood sugar regulated? I’ve got one friend in particular that struggled with it for several months. What good would Deen have really done as a “spokesperson” for diabetes if she hadn’t gotten her act together before she started talking publicly about it?

    I’m starting to Have Views on this whole thing. I read a lot of different health blogs, and it seems like she’s getting attacked from many different directions and for many different reasons. In the end, if Paul Deen gets herself healthier, how is that a bad thing? No one got healthy because the whole world shamed them into it.

  8. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) over 25 million Americans have diabetes–and those are ONLY the folks who are diagnosed–let alone globally. I sincerely hope Miss Paula has the courage and dedication to eat more healthfully and exercise. I pray she begins to modify her recipes to make them healthier too. This is an amazing opportunity to for her to help her fans lead a healthier, more productive life. Time will tell. I guess we’ll just all have to stay tuned. (Pardon the pun.)

  9. I have mixed emotions, as I am not surprised and a little upset with how she is handling it. But again like most people with her celebrity status I am not surprise what they do for more hype and all. I do hope she does good, as many are watching her.

  10. Agreed!!! I don’t like it…. Why promote unhealthy lifestyle, hide your diabetes and then come out while cashing in on a promotional product… Just don’t like it. She could have been just as successful if she created healthier alternatives to her southern cooking and promoted that. She seems like a sweet lady too!

  11. What irks me is that on her show, her viewers see her cooking (and eating) like that everyday and she doesn’t mention that she eats healthy most of the time, that these are just special occasion foods. What is an average viewer supposed to think other than these are everyday foods when they see her everyday, cooking and eating away!? If she doesn’t eat that way, WHY HAVE A SHOW where her persona is someone who does? It gets me steamed because I see my neighbors and family member and coworkers making those recipes for everyday meals, feeding them to their families!