Butter Queen Paula Deen Has Diabetes
The world’s best known fan of cooking all things with butter has made a shocking confession. Paula Deen has Type 2 Diabetes – and it’s not funny. It’s very serious and life threatening.
Rumors about Deen’s health have swirled for years. The rumors cranked up over the weekend after NBC teased her appearance on NBC’s “Today,” and were greeted with a chorus of emphatic “we told-you-sos” from Internet commenters.
Deen didn’t speculate on any particular cause of her diabetes. But her revelation adds a fresh story line to a growing national debate about obesity, with elements of celebrity, schadenfreude and the current popular favorite, class warfare.
Deen ran a restaurant in Savannah, Georgia for years before she became nationally known through her cooking shows on the Food Network. She reveled in high fat dishes like deep-fried macaroni and cheese and Krispy Kreme doughnut bread pudding.
Deen also confirmed that she is being paid to promote Victoza, a noninsulin injectable medication for diabetes made by Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company.
Atlanta food writer Virginia Willis says the criticisms aimed at Deen often reflect food snobbery, sexism and stereotyping about the South. “No one vilifies Michelin chefs for putting sticks of butter in their food,” Willis says, “But when a Southern woman does it, that’s tacky.”
Willis also says contrary to popular belief, Deen’s fat-laden cooking does not represent the apotheosis of Southern cuisine.
“Paula’s food often reflects modern cooking and convenience foods more than Southern tradition,” she says. Deen “cooks for ‘real people’ and for better or worse, that is how many people in this country choose to eat.”