Paula Deen's Diabetes Diagnosis Is a Bad Omen
Queen of Southern cooking must rehab her image
Paula Deen, who built an empire cooking up unhealthy Southern-style recipes, has Type 2 Diabetes and will announce she is the spokeswoman for a major drug company, according to a report in The Daily.
Type 2 Diabetes is usually associated with the consumption of fatty or sugary foods and obesity. If confirmed, there’s little doubt Deen’s love of butter and cooking with lard was part of her ultimate demise.
The Daily quoted an unnamed source in its report:
“Paula Deen is going to have to reposition herself now that she has diabetes,” said one source. “She’s going to have to start cooking healthier recipes. She can’t keep pushing mac and cheese and deep-fried Twinkies when she is hawking a diabetes drug.”
Deen has faced withering criticism for the high amounts of fat, salt and sugar in her dishes. When Deen’s cookbook for kids, “Lunch-Box Set,” was published in 2009, Barbara Walters asked her, “You tell kids to have cheesecake for breakfast. You tell them to have chocolate cake and meatloaf for lunch. And french fries. Doesn’t it bother you that you’re adding to this?”
Last August, “No Reservations” host Anthony Bourdain called Deen “the worst, most dangerous person to America” and said she should “think twice before telling an already obese nation that it’s OK to eat food that is killing us.”
Deen’s circumstances are not without irony. Obesity, heart disease and diabetes are chronic problems in low-income neighborhoods. Many of those neighborhoods lack access to fresh produce and healthy foods.
Deen is worth between $15-20 million. But her days of promoting a lifestyle that is killing people may be over.
In its study, "The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters," Policy Link cited a statistic from the Centers for Disease Control which said obesity rates are 51 percent higher in blacks than whites, and 21 percent higher for Latinos. It found that better access to supermarkets resulted in better eating habits, but that even in poor communities, most produce is low quality. A stunning 14.7 percent of blacks 20 years of age or higher have some form of Diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Blacks are also 20 times more likely to develop heart disease in their 30s and 40s.
It appears that changes are on the horizon.
Byron Hurt’s film Soul Food Junkies explores black America’s longstanding love affair with soul food and explains why its killing us, despite research that explains some of its benefits.. The film will call for black America to take a real look at what it can control as it concerns food choices, nutrition and healthy living. The Oldways African Heritage Diet Pyramid released last year sought to expose the healthy benefits of foods historically consumed by the African Diaspora.
But what about the changes Paula Deen will have to make? What will happen to her fattening, over-the-top recipes? Already, the last few recipes -- #dailytweats as they’re called -- posted to her Twitter account have been a departure from her old ways; they have mostly been soups and stews. Her son, Bobby Deen, debuted the show “Not My Mama’s Meals” this month on the Cooking Channel.
On Jan. 11, she posted a picture of herself working out.
“They say Southern girls don't sweat, but honey I'm willing to argue that after my workout today!”