UPDATED: Paula Deen Rumored to Have Type 2 Diabetes, Endorsement Deal with Big Pharma

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Update: A company spokesman with Novartis called this afternoon to address the rumors that Paula Deen has signed an endorsement deal with the pharmaceutical firm, which the company says are false. Novartis issued this statement: "The rumors that Novartis has signed a multi-million dollar spokesperson deal with Paula Deen for a Diabetes treatment are not true. Novartis is not working with Ms. Deen."

Since April 2011, rumors have been floating around the Internet that popular cooking show host Paula Deen had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes -- the kind of diabetes brought on by a life of the same rich, fatty, "Southern" foods that Deen constantly advocates on her shows and in her cookbooks.

This type of diabetes is frequently called "adult onset" to distinguish it from the far less common diabetes mellitus type 1, which is unrelated to diet and diagnosed in childhood. While most people who develop type 2 diabetes are genetically predisposed to the condition, its onset and severity are exacerbated by things like a poor diet, excess body fat and a lack of physical activity.

If the rumors of Deen's diabetes are true, she would join 285 million diabetics across the world -- a figure that's increased drastically from a mere 30 million since 1985.

The Food Network star is reported to have just signed an endorsement deal with major pharmaceuticals company Novartis, which would bring her a hefty financial payoff in addition to her cookbooks, shows, clothing line and other endorsement deals with ethically and morally dubious organizations like Smithfield.

In short, Deen is quickly becoming the worst possible role model in food at this moment: She advocates a delicious albeit incredibly unhealthy diet supplemented with pork products from dangerous and inhumane sources, then turns around and further profits off her own butter-induced health condition by hawking Big Pharma to her moon-eyed masses.

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Here's but one very sanitized example of the way type 2 diabetes can ravage the body.
Deen could have taken the opportunity -- if one can call a devastating condition like diabetes an opportunity -- to talk candidly about the dangers of a diabetic lifestyle, and the long-term complications it causes: kidney failure, strokes, heart attacks.

She could have used her enormous platform to advocate for a healthier lifestyle now that she's allegedly been diagnosed with diabetes. She could have admitted that the fatty foods and sugar-saturated diets she's been profiting off of for years are actually a road straight to high blood sugar, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol and -- for some -- diabetes.

Although I certainly can't imagine the Southern belle doing a 180 and undertaking an entirely plant-based diet, think of how amazing it would have been for Deen to take any track other than promoting a lifestyle that will require daily, extremely expensive medication and testing strips and finger pricks until the day you die. Which will probably be of diabetes-related complications anyway.

Imagine someone of Deen's popularity encouraging her millions of fans to incorporate more tasty fruits, vegetables and lean proteins into their diets. There was a glimmer of this possibility when her sons released The Deen Brothers Take It Lighter, which offered healthier versions of Mama Deen's recipes. If anyone can make eating healthy taste good, it would be Deen. Hell, the woman managed to make fudge with Velveeta in it taste good. But these types of efforts from her camp are few and far between.

Instead, in the middle of a crippling obesity epidemic brought on by high-calorie, nutrient-poor diets, Deen is making money off a secret she's supposedly hidden from her fans for years. Making money off those same fans who'll think, It's okay to eventually develop this avoidable health condition; I can just take the same diabetes medication that Paula Deen does! Costly pharmaceuticals are not the answer; science has proven again and again that healthy eating is the best way to prevent and/or manage type 2 diabetes.

Deen has attempted to defend her style of cooking in the past by saying that she cooks "for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills," avoiding the idea that inexpensive food can also be healthy food with a sob story: "It wasn't that long ago that I was struggling to feed my family, too."

Deen definitely isn't struggling anymore, but millions of diabetic Americans certainly are. And she's shaping up to be their worst advocate yet.

Anthony Bourdain was right: Paula Deen really is "the worst, most dangerous person to America."



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35 comments
rneville2
rneville2

At 64 yrs I completely reversed my Diabetes Type 2 by:

1 Stop eating foods with "Trans Fats".
2 Replenish the fat membrane in my cells with natural essential fats from a fistful of Walnuts per day.
3 Do for 7 months ... my DT2 completely reversed.
Wrote a short eBooklet (10 pages) free on Kindle Prime called

"The Walnut Cure for Diabetes Type2" Hope it helps someone.

Twinjedi
Twinjedi

A.B. is an A** You are wrong. You are proving that you have never watched her show or understood anything about it. Both of you are Haters.Go feed the homeless if you are so outraged!!!!!

Ed T.
Ed T.

I think my irony meter just pegged. I went to the NN site to see what she was "endorsing", to find out that it is a new injectable called "Victoza". This is a relatively new (and expensive) drug that is used AS AN APPETITE SUPPRESSANT to help someone lose weight! It also has some "interesting" side-effects, including things like thyroid tumors, and "digestive distress" (don't ask how I know this.)

Get Smart
Get Smart

So genetic predisposition is one of the "dangers of a diabetic lifestyle"??  Rather than reading Ms. Shilcutt's vitriolic tripe, read someone who did some research before they wrote their story.  With a tool so powerful as the internet, ignorant diatribes such as Ms. Shilcutt's are inexcusable and indefensible.  If nothing else, Ms. Shilcutt, try Wikipedia.

From:  http://todayhealth.today.msnbc...

Three factors push a person toward diabetes, said Dr. Robin Goland, an endocrinologist and co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.The most important factor is genetics – whether you’ve inherited a susceptibility to the condition.“Now I’m not recommending this, but if you don’t have those genes working against you, you could gain weight and not exercise and your blood sugar would stay normal,” Goland said.The other main risk factors are being overweight and not getting enough exercise. Your risk also increases as you age -- Deen is 64. Experts aren't sure exactly what causes type 2 diabetes, in which the body becomes unable to metabolize sugar correctly, causing the sugar to build up in the bloodstream. It used used to be known as adult-onset diabetes and left untreated, it can be deadly. But it can be managed -- and prevented.

KK
KK

Its still hypocritical that she has known for 3 years and is now just admitting it in time to reap the benefits of a $$$financial deal with Novo.  "I didn't say it before because I didn't know enough"  what it took her 3 years and an endorsement to finally learn her cooking and sedentary ways are to blame?!!

just me
just me

I'm not a fan of Paula Dean, but come on.  People are forgetting that Type 2 diabetes USED to be brought on because the organs were wearing out.  Just because Paula Dean likes to eat Butter, which by the way I hate to eat because I'm allergic to soy products and I am a type 1 diabetic, port and fried foods and saying that's the ONLY reason she has become a type 2 is stupid.  Nobody knows what she eats, just what she shows on her cooking show.

MazelTovCocktail
MazelTovCocktail

Yet again, another devastating blow to personal responsibility..

Yup - it's Paula Deen's fault that you're overweight, out of shape and unhealthy. Maybe it's butter's fault - or even the spoon you use to shovel more crap into your mouth.  You couldn't possibly be the one who's responsible for making poor choices in your life.  Much like children, adults see something delicious on TV and just have to have it, right?  Get real. If you see something she makes, but you feel it's too much - CHANGE THE RECIPE.  Stop putting the blame on other people.  No one's making you unhealthy - you are.  

1hal1
1hal1

You're wrong on several accounts... medications are dirt cheap.. metformin is free at Publix stores in Florida and extremely cheap at Walmart. Chance of losing a foot to diabetes slim to none if you're taking your meds, eating right and getting a little excercise

KK
KK

Ms Shilcutt,  perhaps someone confused Novo Nordisk with Novartis - NN also has Type 2 diabetic products, perhaps she does have a deal - just with a different company. 

Maya Smith
Maya Smith

New Year can be a very good reason for everyone who wants to start a healthy lifestyle. For those who want to lose weight is very important to find a healthy weight loss program that really works. My best friend had very good results with a diet program from TIPSTODIET. She lost 40 lbs and still maintain this weight. Good luck to everyone! 

SML
SML

Be careful; you might hurt yourself when you fall off that high horse that you're on . . . 

Mandy Reiss
Mandy Reiss

Her and that Adam Richmond guy who goes around the country stuffing his face to see who can win epic food challenges.. 

The Marlboro Woman .
The Marlboro Woman .

Tony Bourdain hasn't had the misfortune to meet Ree Drummond, the blogger behind The Pioneer Woman.  She runs a close second to Deen with her high fat, cholesterol laden 1950's recipes.  http://tinyurl.com/3rur78n

big red
big red

As a person who also acquired type 2 diabetes due to eating too much, I can sympathize with how she must feel now (or when she got her diagnosis). However, for the past year, I worked by ass off to lose a lot of weight, and get a lot of exercise. It is now managed quite well, according to my doctor.

I would watch her show if she did a 180 and began to show how to prepare food that is tasty and good for you. It would require her to begin using some ingredients that she has not shown before, but it could be a real positive message to the viewers. And, if she became thinner over a two year period, it could become inspirational to some.

Roger Pelegrinelli
Roger Pelegrinelli

I love Paula Deen, but I was never happy with her food choices, most of them are fried and unhealthy. I think you have to have a responsability to your fans to provide something as healthy as possible.The Angry Trainer writes a great article about the news of her diabetes, etc. some harsh words there but I must agree with him. http://www.angrytrainerfitness...

Krista Albregts
Krista Albregts

Wow talk about a polarized, vitriolic article.  Sound like it's coming someone who would advocate for the government regulation of trans fats and what fast food items are allowed to be on the market.

We're a society of humans, not sheep.  While the public largely acts like sheep, each American is free to make their own choices; good, poor, healthy, unhealthy.  And live with the consequences.

If Paula Deen chooses to put a gallon of butter in every meal she makes, more power to her.  If she gets a television gig that makes her a multimillionaire for it? Go get'em!  People are free to watch it, and cook and eat that way; watch it, and not (or NEVER, like my calorie-counter self) eat that way; or not watch it at all.

If she ends up with diabetes because of her lifestyle, well that's an obvious consequence.  Not too many people will feel bad for her, because it is a consequence of her own decisions; but she doesn't deserve such a hateful response from others.

Let people live.  If a smoker wants to smoke and die of lung cancer; let them do it.  If Paula Deen wants to consume 8 millions grams of saturated fat each day and die of diabetes-related complications, that's her problem, not yours.

Hbeard85
Hbeard85

I love Paula Deen for what she is: A Guilty Pleasure. Like her cooking. I think it's nice to have a variety of chef-inspired recipes at my disposal (thanks, google!).

I like to think that some people excercise good judgement on the fequency of using a Paula Deen recipe. Kind of like using good judgement on how often to eat fast food...

Jodie E
Jodie E

Glad to hear she's not actually going to be a spokesperson for the drug ...I ate at Paula's "original" restaurant in Savannah about 15 years ago with my Mom (long before Paula became a celebrity) because we knew it would remind us of my grandmother's cooking ... and it did. It was special. For many of those southern people (my grandmother included), that is just the way they cooked and ate for the entirety of their lives ... maybe not Smithfield Ham products because they got most all of their meat "local" ... before that was hip and cool. They did lead much more physically-active lives than generations have since and didn't eat fast food and didn't eat a lot of additives and preservatives so I think that's how they stayed healthier.People need to understand that the body can only take so much. Hopefully Paula will use this as a way to increase awareness, heal and serve as an example. I'm sure she will be on meds but so are plenty of other diabetics (and everybody else who has something 'wrong' with them ... we are a pill-popping culture, that's for sure) but I'm sure they are recommending diet and lifestyle changes as well. Scary thing is the number of children being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes these days ... staggering ... something's gotta give ...

John Seaborn Gray
John Seaborn Gray

Never watching the Food Network, I am luckily able to avoid this woman. Except for when I'm in CVS and I see her terrifyingly overly made up and airbrushed face staring at me from the magazine shelf. Every photograph she's ever taken looks like a Mary Kay screech owl.

AwesomeMargie
AwesomeMargie

I couldn't agree with you more.  This woman, ugh.   

YPMAN
YPMAN

So tell us Katharine, how do you really feel about Paula Deen? 

Personally I think just about any fan of her cooking fully realizes it is not a healthy diet.  People make all kinds of choices and people often opt for comfort food like that she promotes.  If she is not out there hawking just such a diet, someone else will.  Moderation, it is all about moderation. 

dbb
dbb

"285 million diabetic Americans..."

Um, I don't think 90%+ of the American population is diabetic.

Ed T.
Ed T.

OTOH, Victoza DOES do a pretty good job of suppressing appetite. For the brief time I was taking it, I found it difficult to eat or drink anything.

guest
guest

OOps I meant to say I have to eat butter because I'm allergic to soy, not Hate to eat.

Healthyhog
Healthyhog

Is it too obvious to point out that this is from a blog that champions the 10 best pizzas, barbecue joints, ice cream etc. in Houston? 

H_e_x
H_e_x

Let's just not ignore a growing crisis in the United States.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Agree that it's all about moderation. Everything in moderation, absolutely. But this is a person who's built her entire persona and fortune around selling an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle to her fans. But even now that she's suffering the repercussions of that lifestyle, she's determined to keep going down that same path -- even if that means helping those same fans get hooked on costly pharmaceuticals that will only prolong their already unhealthy lifestyle. She's encouraging people to maintain a pre-diabetic/full-blown diabetic condition instead of encouraging them to prevent or manage it.

spirit happy diet
spirit happy diet

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 just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

That should have read "people," not Americans. Fixing ASAP. Thanks.  :)

YPMAN
YPMAN

I actually agree with you.  Of course this should not be a shocker to us, after all unless things have changed Paula Deen is also a cigarette smoker and makes no bones about it. 

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