FunnyJohn

Paula Deen Has Type 2 Diabetes

96 posts in this topic

The fucked up part of this story is that she's known for FOUR YEARS and is only now revealing this to her audience.

And is her message changing to "butter is fine, in moderation, but make sure you eat healthy and exercise so you stay around a while"? Nope, it's "let me get my fat ass to the bank and cash this check I get for pimping some new diabetes drug."

Just lost a whole lot of respect for her.

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Nope, it's "let me get my fat ass to the bank and cash this check I get for pimping some new diabetes drug."

Yeah, this is bad form. She is in the wrong business to promote diabetes solutions. Let's hope she has better luck than Patti LaBelle--who shilled for estrogen replacement therapy right before the studies came out showing that it might cause heart attacks, and then for Avandia (for diabetes) right before it was slammed for causing more harm than good and taken off the market.

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I confess that I enjoy many of the personalities on the Food Network, yes even Bobby and Rachel (sorry Dan). Deen, however, has always put me off my feed, and her recipes have always struck me as downright lethal. I often asked myself:so when will she be having her coronary bypass? Now we know -- damn soon.

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It is such a bummer and lost opportunity that the bully pulpit will now be about treatment and marketing a drug rather than prevention. A really great thing could come from this unfortunate news. But seems that it won't. Monster-sized sigh...

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It is such a bummer and lost opportunity that the bully pulpit will now be about treatment and marketing a drug rather than prevention. A really great thing could come from this unfortunate news. But seems that it won't. Monster-sized sigh...

True dat. See my post above. Too many people want to just take a pill, rather than change their eating and exercise habits, which is admittedly a lot harder to do. Still, I'm the last person who will be surprised if this new drug is taken off the market in a few years for ineffectiveness or dangerous side effects. Interestingly, there was a study out not long ago which showed that a very low calorie diet (for what length of time, I don't know) can essentially "cure" Type 2. Unfortunately, there's no money in that, so no publicity.

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I say give her a break. Nobody here has any bad habits?

Here's what I rough-Tweeted (*) today before deciding not to submit it - not because of anything I saw here, but because of all the gleeful hand-wringing that was showing up on Facebook.

"Anyone who is vested in discussing the Paula Deen fiasco needs to think about getting a life."

For a reference point, I couldn't have picked Paula Deen out of a lineup of 19th-century American Presidents before this week (refer to first lady Martha Stewart, née Mariana Stankovich). I knew the name - that's about all she was worth to me then, and that's about all she's worth to me now.

I also thought about writing the following, which I'll now submit:

"The amount of food news coverage on the internet is an order of magnitude greater than the market can bear."

Just a couple of thoughts to brighten your day. :)

(*) Term coin #146,867

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I'm with dcs on this one. One can't assume that diabetes is caused by diet; there are multiple risk factors including stress and genetic predisposition. There is a growing body of evidence that trauma earlier can contribute to a huge number of illnesses, and diabetes is one of them. I seem to remember that she suffered from anxiety or agoraphobia early on. That's evidence of a lot of stress right there.It's tempting but futile to think we know the cause of a particular person's illness

My intent here is not to argue for Paula Deen's way of cooking and eating. It's not at all my cup of tea, but I can see that it was successful for her as a business model. And who can deny the appeal of tasty, fat-laden treats? How many on this board have written longingly of doughnuts, burgers topped with bacon (everything topped with bacon, really) and such artery-clogging delights?

I'd rather see a focus on how to live with illness and how food can contribute to health. And yes, I would like to see her use her position as today's poster child for Type 2 diabetes to talk about how to live and eat well within the bounds of medical recommendations. But her choice is her own. If the voluntary health agencies devoted to diabetes are smart (and they are), they will find a way to use this publicity to their advantage.

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In the immortal words of Paul McCartney: "And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make."

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Deen, however, has always put me off my feed, and her recipes have always struck me as downright lethal. I often asked myself:so when will she be having her coronary bypass? Now we know -- damn soon.

I don't recall how long ago it was (a year or two ago?) that I saw an interview with her where she said that she rarely in real life eats the kinds of foods she prepares/eats on her shows. (Of course, this would have been after she already had been diagnosed with the diabetes.) It struck me that I was correct in just seeing her whole schtick as a commercial gimmick. I wasn't terribly surprised. I was a bit surprised that she had this diagnosis for 3-4 years and said nothing until she was announcing a drug endorsement deal.

Recently, a food blogger I follow had this post, which fascinated me. It's about Paula Deen's very old shows, which had much healthier food and she was much thinner.

Personally, I don't think she's responsible for counseling people in how to eat healthier, but it is especially crass to have her one son's show making healthier versions of her recipes debut around the same time that she's announcing that she's going to be paid to advertise a diabetes drug.

Tacky.

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I say give her a break. Nobody here has any bad habits?

It isn't that, at least not for me. I come at this from trying to alter what I eat in order to stay healthy. I just wish someone in Paula's position would show us all how to make food that is nutritous (easy) and also tastes good (hard). You can always add butter, cheese, and bacon to almost anything to make it taste good. I lasted a month on the Ornish diet (vegan and no fat) and had a terrible time coming up with food that was half-way tasty. I lost 7 lbs. that month, probably out of sheer boredom. While we've altered that terribly strict regimen to some extent, by adding in seafood, olive oil, and some dairy products, I'm still not going to offer a vegan meal to guests. I just haven't found one that is good enough to foist on my friends. It has to be twice as hard for people who don't know how to cook in the first place. With the epidemic of Type 2, this type of diet is vitally important and very difficult to do well.

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Schadenfreude can be a very ugly thing. It is only really satisfying when the person who got the bad news really deserved it. In which case, it feels like justice. Still not nice, but satisfying.

That said, there is a lot of disagreement and debate about what causes Type 2 diabetes, and what diet is best to prevent it, and what diet is best to control it.

I have Type 2 diabetes myself, and the way to get my blood sugar under control is low carb, not low fat. A lot of very healthy people with Type 2 diabetes eat high protein, high fat, low carb, primal, paleo and got their diabetes under control.

Not that Paula Deen is primal or paleo. I have never watched one of her shows but I know that for certain. My impression is that she grew up in a traditional way and promoted traditional food ways that she learned growing up, that please people, and that she values pleasing people. Trying to please others rather than take care of yourself is not an unusual way to wind up doing unhealthy things.

My image/metaphor for the discussion/debate is that I feel as if I were in a large stadium, say, the Superdome, and every seat is occupied by expert with an expert opinion, and they are all shouting at once at the top of their voices, and they are all saying different things. Who to believe?

I agree with everybody who says that you can't eat an unhealthy diet and fix it with a pill.

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My image/metaphor for the discussion/debate is that I feel as if I were in a large stadium, say, the Superdome, and every seat is occupied by expert with an expert opinion, and they are all shouting at once at the top of their voices, and they are all saying different things. Who to believe?

You believe donrockwell.com :)

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While diet may or may not be a cause of type 2 diabetes -- obesity is most definitely one. To the extent that obesity may be controled through a diet, and in the overwhelming number of cases it can, with exercise too, diet is a factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Although I haven't watched her shows very often, I have seen Deen a number of times recently in appearances on other talk shows, etc. and I have never heard her utter a word of caution about over-indulging in the type of food she was preparing -- high fat/high carb. And now she is earning a paycheck as a spokesperson for a diabetes drug...

[full disclosure: I have been at the tipping point for type 2 diabetes for nearly a decade, and it is a daily struggle staying on the right side of the precipice, so I hope y'all forgive me for a little rightious indignation -- diabetes is nearly epidemic in this country and it need not be]

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Serious Eats has this piece on the subject. The part where they quote her as saying that the reason she didn't reveal her diabetes for years was because God would tell her when to do that; paraphrasing: ("I knew when it was time [to tell], it would be in God's time") about made me choke. I looked at the Eater piece quoting Bourdain (which wasn't as ugly as I would have thought), and I have to agree that it's the hypocrisy of this that's most galling to me. She knew for years that she had this diagnosis and said nothing, while her shows promoting unhealthy food continued to air, and she only spoke up when it coincided with a deal to sponsor a diabetes drug. Wow.

I'll occasionally watch Sandra Lee for entertainment, even though I hold no illusions about the quality of her food. I always felt the same about Paula Deen. (The only one of her recipes I've made turned out awful.) Food as entertainment is one thing, but this shows some pretty amazing nerve.

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diabetes is nearly epidemic in this country and it need not be

I respectfully disagree, John - it is extremely difficult to eat a healthy diet in these modern times. I hate to use the word "inevitable," but the aging baby boomers - the first massive group to fully reap the EZ-life "benefits" of television, frozen dinners, Wonder Bread, and McDonald's after the tragic hardship of WWII - are now finding that reaping to be quite grim.

The free market, accompanied by poorly regulated technological "advances," has contributed enormously to many of society's health issues. We can all point fingers, but we're standing in a house of mirrors, with no emergency exit in case of fire.

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Don - it's not just aging baby boomers who are developing type 2 diabetes -- it's becoming a big problem with teens and even younger people. I do not accept that we are the inevitable victims of what is now readily edible. To think that this is something we need to accept means that we will become a nation of patients with truly life limiting disabilities which no health care system can cope with.

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To think that this is something we need to accept means that we will become a nation of patients with truly life limiting disabilities which no health care system can cope with.

We kinda are.

(I didn't mean to imply Type 2 diabetes was a disease of the elderly.)

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I just finished reading Good Calories, Bad Calories, Dr. Gary Taubes.

It's long, highly scientific and fascinating.

A must read when discussing diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

All of which have correlation to each other and are directly impacted by our diets. But not in the way Pharmaceutical Companies, Multi-National Food Companies and Governments have led us to believe.

Happy reading.

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IMHO, the biggest problem we have is the lack of exercise to go along with the abundance of processed food. If you look at typical lifestyles from not that long ago, they were relentlessly labor-intensive and people were moving all day long. We've built suburbs where you have to get in your car and drive to anywhere because too many roads have no sidewalks and too many housing developments don't have walkable resources. For most of us, work is sedentary. It really is vastly different from how everybody lived in the generation before mine.

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IMHO, the biggest problem we have is the lack of exercise to go along with the abundance of processed food. If you look at typical lifestyles from not that long ago, they were relentlessly labor-intensive and people were moving all day long. We've built suburbs where you have to get in your car and drive to anywhere because too many roads have no sidewalks and too many housing developments don't have walkable resources. For most of us, work is sedentary. It really is vastly different from how everybody lived in the generation before mine.

Barbara, I really agree with you. I think the obesity epidemic got started when half the population got computers and pretty much everybody got cable and big screen TVs.

I am looking for a workout buddy to help me get motivated. I live near Braddock Road in Fairfax if there are any takers.

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I just finished reading Good Calories, Bad Calories, Dr. Gary Taubes.

It's long, highly scientific and fascinating.

A must read when discussing diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

All of which have correlation to each other and are directly impacted by our diets. But not in the way Pharmaceutical Companies, Multi-National Food Companies and Governments have led us to believe.

Happy reading.

Gary Taubes is a very credible authority unlike many others who write on diet and nutrition. His views are a bit outside the mainstream but I agree totally worth reading. I got a lot of value and insight from it. Good Calories Bad Calories is becoming a bit of a classic but it's dense. He more recently published a more digestible version (pun intended) of the same work I'd recommend. Here it is from the best bookstore around. :) And, don't be misled by the title; it has a ton of relevance to those most svelte among us.

IMHO, the biggest problem we have is the lack of exercise to go along with the abundance of processed food. If you look at typical lifestyles from not that long ago, they were relentlessly labor-intensive and people were moving all day long. We've built suburbs where you have to get in your car and drive to anywhere because too many roads have no sidewalks and too many housing developments don't have walkable resources. For most of us, work is sedentary. It really is vastly different from how everybody lived in the generation before mine.

Absolutely. No either/or on this methinks. Diet and fitness are both key. And, there are virtually no absolutes because we're all wired differently in terms of genetics and dna before even addressing environmental factors like diet, exercise, stress, etc. That individual variability is why some of the biggest tech companies (GE, IBM, Google) are investing hugely in "personalized medicine," a fascinating field that will be the norm in healthcare in the future. That variability is also why any recommended regimen (diet or fitness) can be knocked by citing anecdotal exceptions. As example, people will say things like (this is just a hypothetical) "my grandfather, or whomever, ate 5 twinkies and smoked a pack of cigarettes every day for all 98 years of his life; therefore I don't believe that twinkies are bad for me." Others would shake their heads in disgust at such 'ignorance' but the anecdote is still the anecdote which, of course, does not suggest twinkies are healthy.

At the end of the day, moderation across food types and fitness is probably a good universal rule along with realization that what works for one might not work for another and, most of all, knowledge. Can't know enough about how to live a healthy life. Taubes is one of many good authorities. Pollan another.

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I am looking for a workout buddy to help me get motivated. I live near Braddock Road in Fairfax if there are any takers.

Sorry--I live in the middle of DC and don't own a car. My problem is that *%^% Circulator Bus. Before that bus route started coming through Adams Morgan, I used to walk to the WF on P Street (and, depending on how much I had to carry) sometimes would walk to Dupont Circle to catch the bus home. I also always walked to Columbia Heights. However, that bus drops me off right at 14th and P (WF) or to 14th and Irving (where the Target is). It is often just too tempting to take it.

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