UPDATE: January 17,2 2012 “Butter Queen” Paula Deen confirmed that she DOES have Type 2 diabetes, has known for three years, and IS launching a campaign called “Diabetes in a New Light” with diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk. Paula’s long-time critic Anthony Bourdain (who’s blasted her in the past over promoting unhealthy food) responded to this news with a sarcastic tweet: “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.”
On the Today Show, where Paula made her announcement, she said that she’s not gonna change the way she cooks, but she did start walking on the treadmill, and she stopped drinking sweet tea (which, like Coke has a HUGE amount of calories, especially if you drink it all day with snacks and meals.) She also said that while she does cook and eat decadent food, she says she’s always emphasized moderation: “Here’s the thing, you know, I’ve always encouraged moderation. On my show, you know, I share with you all these yummy, fattening recipes, but I tell people ‘in moderation… You can have that little piece of pie …'”
As another counterpoint to Deen’s indulgent cooking habits, earlier this month her son Bobby Deen launched a new show about healthy cooking called “Not My Mama’s Meals.” Why didn’t Paula join in with that project to help ease the public into her diagnosis? Many were shocked that she made the announcement the same day she announced that she’s pairing up with a diabetic drug company. Donna Shaft, a marketing consultant who’s had Type 2 diabetes for two decades talked to Fox411 about her problem with how Deen is publicly handling her diagnosis.
“It is hypocritical [for Paula] to have continued to very publicly promote entirely unhealthy food choices so vital to the management of diabetes.
“We of course don’t know the terms of her contract with the drug company, but it seems either stupid or hypocritical of them to be endorsing the eating lifestyle she advocates. For her to publicly facilitate the illusion that a T2 can consume the quantities of fats and carbs and sugars she showcases, even occasionally, is nothing short of a dangerous abuse of the trust many in her audience place in her as an influential public figure.”
Paula has responded to the backlash by pledging money to the American Diabetes Association. Sources close to the Food Network told Fox411 that the network just found out a week before Deen’s announcement, and that they were willing to work with her on any changes to her show as a result of this announcement.
Original post from January 13, 2012, when this was still a rumor:
Rumors have circulated for some time that the southern fatty-fried, butter-dipped queen of food decadence Paula Deen has Type 2 diabetes.
Of course when you have a brand based on said decadent cookin’, getting diagnosed with diabetes wouldn’t be good for promotion of you products that are linked to causing said illness. Welllll…
The Daily is reporting that Deen does have this disease and that she’s set to announce this all to the public soon. This news alone would be bad enough for the 64-year-old chef but it gets worse. The source is claiming that Deen has signed on for a multi-million dollar deal to become the new face of a drug that helps treat the disease!
If this report is accurate this may very well be Deen’s greatest masterpiece. You make a fortune teaching others how to cook up calorie blasting meals, do things like encourage kids to, as Barbara Walters stated, “eat cheesecake for breakfast, chocolate cake and meatloaf for lunch, and french fries,” hide the fact that you have diabetes then make a truckload of bank off endorsing medicine to help with this very disease.
How about a bacon and egg burger with glazed doughnuts for buns while we try and digest that level of chef-gangsta? I’m game honey!
What’s that old saying… “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”
Paula’s chef-baby-boy Bobby Deen may have seen this coming as his Cooking Channel show, Not My Mama’s Meals, features healthier versions of his momma’s meals.
Photo: Michael Wright/WENN.com