Hating on Diabetic Paula Deen Is Fun But Premature

Categories: Talking Points
Paula_Deen_Today_Show.jpg
Today Show
Don't you just want to hug/shake her?
Yesterday, after Paula Deen finally sat down with Al Roker on the Today Show and admitted that she'd been diagnosed with diabetes type three years ago, the food world has been engaged in the loudest round of "I told you so" SFoodie has ever heard. 

Yes, the Enquirer sniffed this out last year. Yes, it's galling that Deen waited until she had a sponsorship deal from a diabetes-treatment manufacturer in place before she was ready to go public. So is her assertion, "On my show I share with you all these yummy, fattening recipes, but I tell people, 'in moderation.'"

The condemnation has been swift, resounding, and bitter. The most thoughtful initial response to the announcement came from former Washington Post staffer Jane Black, who called Deen's announcement a "missed opportunity." As she explains:
I always believed that Deen, or someone like her, might be the key to change. Everyday Americans, including a large number that struggle with weight and diabetes, like Deen. They listen to her. As I wrote in a piece on the Atlantic in August, Deen, despite herself, might just be the secret ingredient to changing the way Americans eat.
But the condemnation is also premature.

Clearly, by insisting she's not going to cook any differently, Deen's thinking of what would happen to her back-catalog cookook sales and reruns of her show if she repudiates all her earlier recipes (an approach that one crisis-management expert says "blew it"). 

But then look at what has already happened in the past 24 hours. Deen is already posting lighter versions of her recipes on that pharma-sponsored website, Diabetes in a New Light. Her slimmed-down son, Bobby Deen, has a new show titled "Not My Mama's Meals." There are thousands of discussions and articles appearing about the link between diabetes and diet, renewing the national discussion.

The subtext of all the Deen-bashing messages is that anyone who has type 2 diabetes made themselves sick. And, rather than indulging in a heap of mea culpas, Deen's breezy, fuck-you-if-you-think-I'm-going-to-admit-I've-been-wrong approach might help reach diabetics who are trying to change their diet but rebelling against the shame they're supposed to drape over every fatty, oversugared dish they love.

SFoodie admits it: We're an optimist. And we know that, whatever guilt Deen admits publicly or not, from here on out she's not going to be able to make donut burger sandwiches. She'll be laughed off TV, even by her fans.

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4 comments
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Eric Starson
Eric Starson

I'm sad for Paula, but not all that surprised. Maybe she should look into a healthier diet to treat her diabetes instead of drugs? There's lots of interesting information available at this noncommercial, science based site (nutritionfacts.org). To quote the good doctor: "It is too bad Paula Deen missed this opportunity" to tell her fans "that type 2 diabetes can be prevented, managed, treated, and even cured". Read more at http://nutritionfacts.org/blog...

Marylou
Marylou

Having just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it is hard to admit. People look at the extra Weight I carry and I can feel their judgement. It's no secret that this disease really is a wake up call but I jumped in with both feet, I've lost thirty pounds and I'm not done yet. So, phooey to the neysayes. You go girl.

Joe
Joe

"The subtext of all the Deen-bashing messages is that anyone who has type 2 diabetes made themselves sick. "

I think you can, and should, give the American public more credit than that. Jokes and jibes need to be simple but the understanding behind them does not. I'm sure Deen did bring her Type 2 diabetes on, or at the least, contributed to it. She is not active, does not appear to eat well, and is clearly overweight.

What's interesting is that she is touting a drug that is not insulin-related yet is somehow supposed to do something for people with Type 2 diabetes ... In other words, she appears not to be changing her diet, exercise regime, or weight to reduce her risk, but popping some unknown pill instead. 

Anna
Anna

I urge Paula to get the filmmaker's Specialized diabetes diet and do not take the medications The Anti Obesity drug makers and diabetes drug makers take in 10 billion$$$$ every year with no cure!! Food Chemicals are the cause of the diabetes and obesity crisis The FDA and Drug makers know this and are laughing to the Billionaire$$$ bank The food chemicals break the gut(insulin) and this is the cause of the diabetes and obesity crisis A filmmaker has been reversing diabetes and Obesity WITHOUT MEDICATIONS in now 10 countries and the drug makers do not promote the story Click here http://spirithappy.org

or just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

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