Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Paula Deen's Diabetes Admission: Now, Get to Work!

Paula and the foul fowl.
I'll resist the temptation to call chef Paula Deen--her Southern Fried highness--off-color name,s following her revelation that she has Type II Diabetes, probably caused by that god-awful diet that she is pushing at everybody.

Here's the short version of the sermon: Americans insist that the "nanny state" stay out of their personal decisions, even when those personal decisions cost the rest in a variety of ways: higher health insurarnce costs, higher medical costs, lost days at work for the obese and diabetic that puts pressure on co-workers and costs the company money, and a host of other issues. It is my business when your diet makes you sick and I have to help compensate for your costs. Not to mention that as a person with at least some level of concern for others, I'd love to see people live better.

Deen is a pleasant, old-fashioned woman with an old fashioned sense of what a dinner table should look like. My mother would have loved her and they might have shared fried chicken and peach cobbler recipes. But they're both responsible for diets that kill people. My oldest brother died with all the stuff you get from that diet (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart trouble). My family is riddled with all those conditions and three or four years ago my brother, Sandy, lay on a gurney in a hospital, his heart in a surgeon's hand. Scared the living shit out of me and I got with the program.

Which is what a whole lot of people who are mad at Paula Deen for revealing her diabetes should do. I have Type II diabetes and have been controlling it since I discovered it was present with diet and exercise, which would have kept me from getting it in the first place if I'd had any sense. Information is plentiful and readily available. This condition is so common that every physician knows it well and can help you with it.

So, if you have belly fat or a bad diet without the belly fat, check with your doc and see if you're diabetic or pre-diabetic. It's treatable and it's not something to fear the way you would fear cancer. Respect diabetes and treat yourself with care and you'll do fine. But when Paula offers you a bulky fried chicken breast, put the back of your right hand to your head, close your eyes and say, "Dahlin' I feel faint." 

(My friend Betsy Gehman adds this: "You forgot to mention the incredible public cost of diabetes-related dialysis treatments that turns people into invalids, results in a huge percentage of annual deaths related to infections incurred at dialysis centers, and the unbelievably enormous costs to taxpayers (to say nothing of the ever-inflating health insurance costs to people in the NON-diabetic/high blood pressure population who simply take better preventative care of themselves).

("The most interesting statistic is that an extremely high percentage of dialysis patients are much younger than 65, so it isn't the senior population that's sucking all this money out of our scandalous "health" system.

("Nowhere are PREVENTATIVE measures addressed yet by any of the politicians screaming about "Obamacare. Michelle Obama - the non-politician - has been addressing fresh food, diet and exercise issues almost since Day One in the White House. The lone voice in the wilderness.

"Yet dialysis centers in the U.S. thrive and people continue to die prematurely.")


  1. she has the whitest teeth i've ever seen. eerily white in all the magazines. blinding. ha

  2. Christine: The combo of bleach and PhotoShop is a dentist's nightmare. Cheap pearlies.

  3. I think it is crazy to be mad at Paula for cooking what she does...just because she is a diabetic doesn't mean that's the type of foods she should be cooking on her show...her show isn't for diabetics and her illness is her business...and yes she is supposed to be a role mode but just like most of us don't want people in our personal business maybe she doesn't either...if you are a diabetic you aren't required to eat the foods she cooks or even watch her father is a diabetic and he loves her show, that is just proof that people are always searching for drama and someone to be mad at...people go live your life and let Paula live hers, she has done nothing wrong,

  4. Bre: I think the primary point here is that these foods and this lifestyle CAUSE diabetes and there should be some kind of warning label, or at least some cautionary note that is given without giggling, before they are suggested by an expert on national television to an audience that is not educated in nutrition.

  5. As a senior nutrition major one thing we are taught is that there is no such thing as a bad food, just bad eating habits and I'm sure anyone who has ever watch that show knows the dishes she prepares are not for healthy nutritional purposes but simply for the best taste...yes she got diabetes but she never make any claims about her food being healthy...the foods we personally pick and the lifestyle we choose are our own choices and most of us know what's considered "good" and "bad" no warning label needed

  6. Bre: I would strongly argue your assertion that "most of us know" what's good for us. We don't. We talk about mama's food and how good it was thinking mama'd never give us anything that would give us a heart attack. There is a great deal of food ignorance out there--and I'm as guilty as anybody--and the food industry's best interest is in keeping us ignorant and fat. Choices? Sure, we have choices. But are they informed choices? Certainly not.