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Paula Deen Has Type 2 Diabetes

Paula Deen Diabetes

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#1 FunnyJohn

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:50 AM

Shocking News!


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#2 kirite

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:46 PM

Truly shocking! Does this mean that her dietary habits are to blame? Mon Dieu!

#3 DanielK

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:48 PM

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.

#4 Barbara

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:32 PM

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.

#5 FunnyJohn

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 03:20 PM

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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#6 darkstar965

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 04:41 PM

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...

#7 Barbara

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 05:03 PM

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.

#8 dcs

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:38 PM

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

#9 DonRocks

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 08:22 PM

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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#10 lillith

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 08:25 PM

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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#11 dcs

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:28 PM

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

#12 Pat

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:31 PM

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.

#13 Barbara

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 04:55 PM

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.

#14 Ilaine

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:55 PM

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.

I'm just here for the chow.


#15 DonRocks

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 11:27 PM

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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#16 FunnyJohn

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 05:37 PM

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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#17 Pat

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:21 PM

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.

#18 DonRocks

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:47 PM

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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#19 FunnyJohn

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:54 PM

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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"You too can have the soothing feeling of nature's own baby-soft wool being pulled over your resting eyes." - Herb Block


#20 DonRocks

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:56 PM

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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#21 Chef Tom

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:41 PM

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.

Tom Przystawik
 


#22 Barbara

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:03 AM

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.

#23 Ilaine

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:19 AM

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.

I'm just here for the chow.


#24 darkstar965

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:48 AM

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.

#25 Barbara

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:07 AM

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.

#26 thetrain

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:53 PM

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.

[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]


Completly anecdotal - but on the Biggest Loser they have a mid season 'check in' with the doctor to see what losing a moderate amount of weight has done to their health. In every show I've seen, every diabetic no longer needs insulin and most are no longer considered diabetic. Insane.

In contrast, my grandmother is diabetic and my mother (not yet 60) is pre-diabetic. Niether are remotely close to what most people would consider overweight, they have 'normal' BMIs, but they put on 30lbs from what they weighed in their 20s. Is that weight alone enough to cause it? Who knows.

#27 Tujague

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:36 PM

Today it's been reported that Paula Deen's publicist resigned over her signing the deal with Novo Nordisk, which is reportedly bringing her in $6 million dollars over two years. For me, the publicist's money quote is this: "We did great work together and built a terrific brand." Exactly--Deen isn't a cook or author, she's a brand, and this whole debacle is her attempt to protect that brand. Certainly that's her right, and I don't condemn her for that any more than I blame her for her diagnosis, which is not uncommon among persons of her age or profession. But in announcing her diabetes diagnosis, Deen said that she waited to announce it until she "had something to bring to the table." Well, as we can see, she waited until someone had something to bring to HER table--clearly, she had nothing to bring herself. And that damns any claim she can make for herself as a chef/cook/spokesperson (which raises the obvious issue of what her profession is--the world's oldest, I assume).

"There's no need to get snippy. I'm just doing my job here."--Marge Gunderson, Fargo


#28 Barbara

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:55 PM

Completly anecdotal - but on the Biggest Loser they have a mid season 'check in' with the doctor to see what losing a moderate amount of weight has done to their health. In every show I've seen, every diabetic no longer needs insulin and most are no longer considered diabetic. Insane.


I admit that I don't usually watch that show, but have looked in on it once or twice. I saw people working out like mad. I do, however, watch "Dancing with the Stars" religiously and, similarly, the "celebrities" (and I use that term advisedly) also seem to lose a lot weight because of the strenous amount of physical activity. Kirstie Alley being a prime example. They kept having to take in her costumes because she kept losing weight throughout her time there. Just reinforces my thought that exercise is the real key for a whole host of things.

#29 thetrain

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:01 PM

Today it's been reported that Paula Deen's publicist resigned over her signing the deal with Novo Nordisk, which is reportedly bringing her in $6 million dollars over two years.


They updated that article to include "The Daily, the publication that originally broke the rumors that Deen was about to announce her diagnosis, last Thursday, is now reporting both that Paula has high blood pressure and that she will make $6 million over two years for her work promoting Victoza."

#30 qwertyy

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:07 PM

(which raises the obvious issue of what her profession is--the world's oldest, I assume).

Whoa. Did you really just go there?

#31 jayandstacey

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 02:13 PM

As mentioned, the causes of Type 2 are myriad and interwoven...but I find it useful to make a comparison to a car.

If we put dirty oil in our cars, the dirt will leave deposits and generally gum things up. If we put in too much oil, the pressure will also create problems. Cars are built differently with different parts, so some will survive better than others under these conditions - but eventually, the oil pump is likely to no longer work sufficiently on its own...and will need insulin to help keep that dirty oil moving under higher pressure. If we eat less, eat better, exercise the engine - all these things will help the pump and probably remove the need for insulin.

Simply put, type 2 diabetes is the body performing inadequately under stressors, so the options are to remove the stressors or to chemically boost the body's performance to meet the needs of the stressors. Guess which one the pharmacueticals would prefer??

In Type 1, the oil pump burnt up and took down some of the engine area around it - so you can't buy a new internal pump - you need an external pump (and here the phrase 'external pump' applies both to the hypothertical car oil pump and to the body's need for insulin). With type 1, dirty oil or high pressure doesn't matter - the engine has completely failed and the car dies without a continuous, permanent solution. The oil pump may burn in situations where it wasn't abused, rather it was just faulty to begin with. Thus type 1s can be kids, skinny people, etc.

Anyway, eff Paula Deen. Her approach is insidious and essentially a tax on stupid and/or poor people's health in the way lotto tickets are a money-reducing tax on those same folks. She's hawking culinary lawn darts while her own eye's been poked out and she hasn't told us.

Our Mothers warned us about getting our eyes poked out.

#32 Tujague

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:46 PM

As mentioned, the causes of Type 2 are myriad and interwoven...but I find it useful to make a comparison to a car.
Anyway, eff Paula Deen. Her approach is insidious and essentially a tax on stupid and/or poor people's health in the way lotto tickets are a money-reducing tax on those same folks. She's hawking culinary lawn darts while her own eye's been poked out and she hasn't told us.

I will say that I wish that HuffingtonPost and other websites would stop posting spy videos of Deen eating cheeseburgers and the like since announcing her diagnosis. It's just as obnoxious and irresponsible as when someone like Michelle Obama gets castigated for visiting Shake Shack, contributes to the misinformation and confusion in the public mind about Type 2 diabetes and other diseases, and distorts the whole conversation about healthy eating.

"There's no need to get snippy. I'm just doing my job here."--Marge Gunderson, Fargo


#33 Ilaine

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:37 AM

I will say that I wish that HuffingtonPost and other websites would stop posting spy videos of Deen eating cheeseburgers and the like since announcing her diagnosis. It's just as obnoxious and irresponsible as when someone like Michelle Obama gets castigated for visiting Shake Shack, contributes to the misinformation and confusion in the public mind about Type 2 diabetes and other diseases, and distorts the whole conversation about healthy eating.

How does this distort the conversation?

It's a fact that many people with type 2 diabetes practice massive denial.

It's a fact that people who hold themselves out as spokespersons for a lifestyle will be accused of hypocrisy, at best, and cynical manipulation, at worst, when they are seen in public doing what they said don't do.

You can say, "do what I say, not what I do," and it may be the truth, but let someone who's consistent be the spokesperson, and you can be the horrible example of what happens if you don't.

I'm just here for the chow.


#34 Tujague

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 04:58 PM

How does this distort the conversation?

It's a fact that many people with type 2 diabetes practice massive denial.

It's a fact that people who hold themselves out as spokespersons for a lifestyle will be accused of hypocrisy, at best, and cynical manipulation, at worst, when they are seen in public doing what they said don't do.

You can say, "do what I say, not what I do," and it may be the truth, but let someone who's consistent be the spokesperson, and you can be the horrible example of what happens if you don't.

The last I checked Paula Deen never claimed that she doesn't ever indulge in less-than-healthy food since her diagnosis, so what's the point of posting "gotcha" videos of her doing so, videos that are completely devoid of any context? What does it add of substance to the conversation about Type 2 diabetes? Absolutely nothing; if anything, people use them as an excuse not to approach the issues thoughtfully, and that is what is distortive. There's plenty to find abhorrent about Deen, and that is worthy of discussion; the videos only invite--and embody--gossip.

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#35 goldenticket

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:14 PM

I thought this article provided an interesting perspective about how someone else in the food/restaurant celebrity business (Joe Bastianich) dealt with his own health concerns. Granted he is a paid spokesman for Lipitor, but he's no longer taking the medication and has "walked the walk" to getting healthy.

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#36 Barbara

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:58 PM

I thought this article provided an interesting perspective about how someone else in the food/restaurant celebrity business (Joe Bastianich) dealt with his own health concerns. Granted he is a paid spokesman for Lipitor, but he's no longer taking the medication and has "walked the walk" to getting healthy.


Thanks for posting this. I had seen him recently on his mother's PBS show and thought he was looking downright gaunt and wondered if he had been through some sort of illness. Good for him; I'm glad he's showing others the way. Funnily enough, I was already planning on serving a variation on this fennel salad--that I saw his mother make some ago and really love--for dinner tonight.

#37 porcupine

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:20 AM

It is such a bummer and lost opportunity that the bully pulpit will now be about treatment and marketing a drug rather than prevention.

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.

Granted he is a paid spokesman for Lipitor, but he's no longer taking the medication and has "walked the walk" to getting healthy.


It is worth remembering, though, that for some people diet and exercise will have little or no effect on certain conditions, like cholesterol levels. "Lipitor," my doctor said, "is made for people like you."
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#38 Heather

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:32 AM

It is worth remembering, though, that for some people diet and exercise will have little or no effect on certain conditions, like cholesterol levels. "Lipitor," my doctor said, "is made for people like you."

It's called polygenic hypercholesterolemia, and it runs in my family. Fat or thin, dieting or not, we all have high cholesterol than is most effectively controlled by medication. The specific genes involved haven't been discovered as far as I know.

#39 Barbara

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:06 AM

It is worth remembering, though, that for some people diet and exercise will have little or no effect on certain conditions, like cholesterol levels. "Lipitor," my doctor said, "is made for people like you."


Just to clarify: I wasn't referring to folks with inherent conditions; rather, to people like my late mother who thought pills were the solution to everything, including diet and exercise. Joe Bastianich is clearly one of those people able to control his health through his own efforts. I can't applaud him enough.

#40 FunnyJohn

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:39 AM

It's called polygenic hypercholesterolemia, and it runs in my family. Fat or thin, dieting or not, we all have high cholesterol than is most effectively controlled by medication. The specific genes involved haven't been discovered as far as I know.

Interesting -- I had never heard the specific term for the condition. When I went on Lipitor about 15 years ago, I tried for about a year before to control my cholesterol through diet, and no matter what, my number remained constant. The way my Dr. explained it was that some people just produce more cholesterol irrespective of diet, and, yep, Lipitor is for them. BTW I read an article some time ago about the other benefits of statins and that the Brits were considering just giving all males above the age of 40 a pill that was a cocktail of statins, aspirin and other anti-inflammatories routinely. Don't think they followed through though, probably due to cost.

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#41 Heather

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:45 AM

Joe Bastianich is clearly one of those people able to control his health through his own efforts. I can't applaud him enough.

Through his own efforts, and the pills he was a spokesman for.

My life depends on pills. There is no aspect of my metabolism that operates on its own steam. I eat normal meals and walk every day. Despite that, I have a difficult time losing weight because while the pills simulate thyroid function, they are kept at an artificially low level to avoid damage premature damage to my heart. None of my medical history is apparent just by looking at me, though. It's easy to think you know the whole story, and condemn someone for "bad behavior." The truth is that unless you are their doctor, it's probably wise to be less judgemental.

Not to say that she hasn't handled this badly, but I have to wonder how much fear of losing her livelihood influenced it. She was an unknown single mom that overcame poverty, agoraphobia, and panic attacks to become a success based on a certain TV-defined persona - a "brand." The prospect of losing that brand isn't pleasant. She should have had better advisors & PR.

#42 darkstar965

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:25 PM

Absolutely. Heather's post just above is exactly why individual variability is so important to consider and discuss. I posted about this more upthread but clearly we are all wired differently from before birth -- genetics mostly. So, what works for one may not work for another. Drugs clearly have been a godsend for many people with many conditions. Again, from Post #24 above, this is the idea behind the growing field of personalized medicine which offers a lot of exciting potential for the future. That's why it's such a huge focus for several Fortune 100 companies and government.

At the same time, that doesn't change the idea that emphasizing prevention over treatment is probably a good idea for societies and many people as a broad concept (across many conditions and diseases). Prevention has to do with diet, exercise, stress management and the like. We don't do a good job of this in the US and much of the developed world.

As example, we know that some people can live long, relatively healthy lives while smoking a pack a day. There are anecdotal examples of this.

We also know that the rate of emphysema, lung cancer and other diseases is much higher with smokers than without. That contradiction is true for most any condition or disease one might name. So, knowledge is a good thing and emphasizing prevention in informed ways, while no guarantee due to individual differences, is probably a good idea for most people from early in life. Using smoking as the easier example, hard to imagine many parents encouraging their children to develop a lifelong, unfiltered cigarette smoking habit even though it's statistically possible (however unlikely) it might not hurt them.

If you believe the above is sound, then the sadness about Paula Deen (aside from her own condition of course), is that there was and is a big opportunity for her to persuade and educate people about prevention. She doesn't have to do that--it is her choice--but she's a public figure who might feel some responsibility to do so. The drug she is now marketing for big compensation is an important tool in healthcare. But her ongoing story implies wrongly that a drug is the only or best tool for everyone because she isn't saying or doing anything to dispel those notions. She could do a very good thing to put productive contours around the Type 2 epidemic in a way that might help millions who watch and love her. That would imply emphasizing prevention and also discussing treatment. But, at least so far, she isn't so motivated to do that.

#43 MsDiPesto

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:25 PM

Through his own efforts, and the pills he was a spokesman for.

My life depends on pills. There is no aspect of my metabolism that operates on its own steam. I eat normal meals and walk every day. Despite that, I have a difficult time losing weight because while the pills simulate thyroid function, they are kept at an artificially low level to avoid damage premature damage to my heart. None of my medical history is apparent just by looking at me, though. It's easy to think you know the whole story, and condemn someone for "bad behavior." The truth is that unless you are their doctor, it's probably wise to be less judgemental.

Not to say that she hasn't handled this badly, but I have to wonder how much fear of losing her livelihood influenced it. She was an unknown single mom that overcame poverty, agoraphobia, and panic attacks to become a success based on a certain TV-defined persona - a "brand." The prospect of losing that brand isn't pleasant. She should have had better advisors & PR.


Same here, a regimen of pills every morning for underfunctioning thyroid and adrenals.

Re Ms. Deen, having adverse experiences earlier in life very often affects how you react to events later in life that threaten your security.

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#44 Heather

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:56 PM

It is sad that she hasn't chosen to use this as an opportunity to educate, but she is performing an important service - she is enabling us to congratulate ourselves that we would have done better.

I wonder how much class is playing into the approbriation. If it was a French chef, would we be as quick to condemn? It's not like steak & bernaise are fat-free.

#45 DanielK

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:04 PM

My objection isn't that she's shilling for a pill, or that she isn't becoming the spokesperson for moderation, or that she kept personal medical information to herself.

My objection is that she sat on the personal information for years until the deal for the pill came along, and then decided to share. This crosses the line from sellout to asshat.

#46 Tujague

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:35 PM

I wonder how much class is playing into the approbriation. If it was a French chef, would we be as quick to condemn? It's not like steak & bernaise are fat-free.

More than we care to admit, I imagine, though sometimes that is a mask for regional and rural prejudices that aren't necessarily related to economic status. And some observers have noted some possible sexism and body type bias as well. In the end, we really know nothing of the underlying factors, so it's all useless speculation.

If you believe the above is sound, then the sadness about Paula Deen (aside from her own condition of course), is that there was and is a big opportunity for her to persuade and educate people about prevention. She doesn't have to do that--it is her choice--but she's a public figure who might feel some responsibility to do so. The drug she is now marketing for big compensation is an important tool in healthcare. But her ongoing story implies wrongly that a drug is the only or best tool for everyone because she isn't saying or doing anything to dispel those notions. She could do a very good thing to put productive contours around the Type 2 epidemic in a way that might help millions who watch and love her. That would imply emphasizing prevention and also discussing treatment. But, at least so far, she isn't so motivated to do that.

My objection isn't that she's shilling for a pill, or that she isn't becoming the spokesperson for moderation, or that she kept personal medical information to herself.

My objection is that she sat on the personal information for years until the deal for the pill came along, and then decided to share. This crosses the line from sellout to asshat.

Or, to look at it a different way: she responded by trading on her celebrity status rather than as her credentials as a cook/chef. Obviously, the two pretty much blend into one with such TV personalities. But for Deen to vacate whatever professional bona fides she had so easily suggests that they have pretty much been cannibalized by her stardom, leaving her with nothing but her name to offer. Sellout, or asshat, or whatever name you want to give, it's a sad comment what is considered to be most valuable.

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#47 Barbara

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 06:44 PM

I wonder how much class is playing into the approbriation. If it was a French chef, would we be as quick to condemn? It's not like steak & bernaise are fat-free.


Here is what I believe is Pierre Franey's last book:

http://www.amazon.co...30039810&sr=1-1

He died of a heart attack on a cruse ship where he was hired to give cooking demonstrations, which means the recipes in the book came too late to do him any good. His daughter edited it and provided commentary and published it after his death. What I found surprising to learn was that Paul Bocuse lost 50 pounds on a low-fat diet, without much publicity. This book is full of the kind of low-fat cooking that Bocuse used to lose weight. There are shills and then there are shills.

The point I keep trying to make here is that we all have the responsibility for our own health. And, that means dealing with our genetic heritages, too. Joe Bastianich took the bull by the horns before things got out of hand and did (and keeps doing) the hard work to stay healthy. Paula Deen--not so much. They both have food empires to manage, but the rest of us are on our own. Our successes and failures aren't going to be played out in public, like theirs. We also aren't being paid to shill for pharmaceuticals or food stuffs.

#48 porcupine

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:02 AM

It's called polygenic hypercholesterolemia,

Ah, I knew there was some name for it - thanks.

Just to clarify: I wasn't referring to folks with inherent conditions; rather, to people like my late mother who thought pills were the solution to everything, including diet and exercise.

Better living through chemistry! Yeah, I had relatives like that, too. Suddenly I have a Joe Jackson song in my head.

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#49 jayandstacey

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:07 AM

I wonder how much class is playing into the approbriation. If it was a French chef, would we be as quick to condemn? It's not like steak & bernaise are fat-free.

For me, it isn't playing in at all. This is to me like the investment firms that pitched certain securities to their clients, then made their own big invetsments against those same positions. They are fairly high class - upper crust of NYC and all that. Their actions are decidedly low class.

I'm with Daniel - she could have just sold out in a number of ways, instead she asshattedly maximized the opportunity to her own benefit while creating two Paulas, both accentuating the wrongs of the other.

#50 thetrain

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:52 AM

She should have had better advisors & PR.


That's the thing - her PR person quit over this, BEFORE it went public. People were wondering why her publicist abruptly quit a month before this all came out. Its pretty implicit her publicist didn't think this was a good idea, and quit when it became clear Paula was going forward with it anyway, despite advice not too. The publicist didn't want anything to do with it.

I get she didn't want to lose her livelihood, but the whole healthy eating, lose weight, we are an obese nation bandwagon is big and getting bigger. There is plenty of money to be made going that route. I'm sure some network would pay big bucks to have her on some weight loss show.




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