Paula Deen has announced that she has Type 2 Diabetes and, certainly, everyone wishes her the best of health. However, Deen learned of her diabetes three years ago and coupled her announcement with the news that she’s now shilling for the drug company Novo Nordisk.
She went on the Today show to make this announcement, equating herself to Al Roker when he pointed out that she’s a spokesperson for the company. “Absolutely, I’ve been compensated, just as you are for your work,” she said. Ugh. Because being a reporter is the same as being a spokesperson for a drug company. Tacky, tasteless Paula Deen. The interview continues with her talking more crap. She sounds like she’s been media trained almost too well.
But many say that’s not the only tasteless thing about this situation.
In the interview, she says she’s always “encouraged moderation” and then blah blah, she talks about going to the doctor blah blah, “I’m a cook not a doctor,” blah blah.
But, the criticism is, as Al Roker alludes, that she has been cooking high-fat, high-calorie foods for years, has made a career out of it, continued to talk that up even after she got her diagnosis, and now says she doesn’t plan to change the way she cooks.
Chef Anthony Bourdain has been quoted repeatedly since making the following statement to Eater.com: “When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you’ve been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you’ve got Type 2 Diabetes… It’s in bad taste if nothing else.” He’s not the only one calling her decisions into question.
She does have a new campaign, “Diabetes in a New Light,” that promises to help with some lighter options to her usual toxic cooking. Of course, it’s a campaign launched with help from her new sponsors.
So now the question is: Will the backlash hurt Deen? Probably not. We’ve been talking about obesity and the need for healthier eating for a long time now. And when the First Lady tries to encourage it with a program of her own, she’s criticized.
Where there could be a problem is in how she proceeds. Will people still be as loyal when she, too, talks (probably much more loudly than she has in the past) about eating in moderation and being healthy? Or will she join FLOTUS on the list of people trying to push a “nanny state” on us all, as critics say?
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