I want to talk about Paula Deen.
As I am sure 99% of you know, she announced this week on the Today show that she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes over three years ago.
This has had an explosive reaction across the foodie community and I, of course, have my opinion on it. Many people are upset that Paula has “hid” her diagnosis and continually (over the last three years) made and promoted her Southern style of cooking that is based on deep-frying and using ingredients such as heavy cream, butter and sugar. All of which can cause diabetes in a person. And now that she is coming forward she is going to be a paid spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company which provides her medicine.
So I have a few thoughts to share here.
First, I have a hard time saying that Paula should have told America that she was diagnosed with diabetes. I feel like a person’s medical history and medical records are really no one else’s business but their own and whom they choose to share them with. I really strongly believe that I don’t have a right to know anyone’s medical business. No right.
Now, do I believe that Paula’s way of eating would (or could) cause diabetes in a person? Yes. Do I think that is why Paula Deen got diabetes? I don’t know. Neither of us know for 100% for sure that her way of eating caused this. But I do think Paula has missed a really great opportunity here. Had she come forward three years ago she could have spent the last three years teaching people how to live and manage theer diabetes while still enjoying her Southern food. She could have spent time making substitutions and revamping her recipes so that people could “have their cake and eat it too.” I definitely think an opportunity was lost.
As far as her benefitting from her pharmaceutical company…I don’t really care. Companies use paid spokespeople all the time. All the time. 99% of public figures who promote or speak for a company aren’t doing it for free…so why would we expect her to?
I also refuse to believe that in today’s society people don’t know that a hamburger between two donuts is not healthy. I refuse to believe that people think eating deep-fried food everyday would benefit their heart. Moderation, moderation, moderation is key. What I think people need help with is the hidden sugars. Sugars found in Sweet Tea (a staple in the Southern diet) or Coke. I think that this is where Paula missed the opportunity. She missed an opportunity to help people make small changes that would make significant impacts on their lives.
But moving forward, I think we need to just let it go. I am sad for Paula. I wouldn’t wish Type 2 Diabetes on anyone…not any one! So I am sad for her. But I don’t hate her, or wish her any more harm. I hope that she can manage her disease and still continue to enjoy the food she loves while also helping people by her experience and her knowledge. Not everyone knows how to make substitutions and still make food taste good. I think that should be Paula’s next challenge.
So there it is.
I know you probably have an opinion too…so feel free to share it but remember to be respectful!! Thanks!