Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Moderation and Personal Responsibility Have Worked Out Well For Paula Deen

“The worst, most dangerous person to America is clearly Paula Deen. She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she's proud of the fact that her food is fucking bad for you. I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it is okay to eat food that is killing us. Plus, her food sucks." 
-Anthony Bourdain

This morning, the 64-year-old Deen announced to Al Roker that she has Type 2 diabetes, and admitted that she’s been hiding this secret for three years “because I had to figure out things in my own head.”

Deen appears to have been waiting for an opportunity to monetize her diagnosis. She’s inked a deal with Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical giant that provides her with diabetes medication. Deen announced today that she and her family are going to start appearing in ads for the company.

But aside from pushing drugs, Deen’s not planning to make any dietary changes, other than curbing her sweet tea addiction.
When asked about whether she will make a change in how she cooks on her show, “Paula’s Best Dishes,” Deen didn't give a direct answer, instead encouraging viewers to practice moderation. 
“Here’s the thing, you know, I’ve always encouraged moderation,” she said. “On my show, you know, I share with you all these yummy, fattening recipes, but I tell people 'in moderation... You can have that little piece of pie ...'" 
"I have always eaten in moderation," she said. "You know, people see me on TV two or three times a day and they see me cooking all these wonderfully Southern, fattening dishes. That’s only 30 days out of 365," she said. "And it’s for entertainment. And people have to be responsible. Like I told Oprah a few years ago, honey, I’m your cook, not your doctor. You are going to have to be responsible for yourself."
Oh, yes. Moderation and personal responsibility have worked out REALLY WELL for Deen. After all, thanks to diabetes, she's landed a lucrative deal with Novo Nordisk! She can still eat "that little piece" of Savannah High Apple Pie as long as she gets free insulin and Victoza injections from a pharmaceutical company! And best of all, she can continue to reap the benefits of peddling ridiculously unhealthy food while admonishing her fans to "be responsible for yourself" and gobble down pills! WIN-WIN!

Let’s be real: Type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Regularly chowing on sugar -- whether in the form of Twinkies or Deen’s Deep-Fried Cheesecake, causes insulin resistance and keeps glucose in the bloodstream -- which in turn forces the pancreas to crank out even more insulin to deal with the blood sugar, which in turn causes more insulin resistance, and on and on. The vicious cycle doesn’t end as long as we continue to poison ourselves with sugar. Taking drugs doesn’t fix the underlying problem; it just manages the symptoms.

(Want more information about the sugar-diabetes connection? Read this article over at Mark’s Daily Apple, or check out my Paleo guide.)

I don't think Deen's "the worst, most dangerous person in America," but she can’t simply be dismissed as a kook with a taste for gross food, either. She has a large following, and is prominent enough to influence hordes of television-viewing home cooks -- many of whom are the primary food gatekeepers for their families. By announcing that diabetes can and should be handled with drugs rather than dietary changes, Deen’s made herself the willfully oblivious poster child for America’s diabetes problem.

[Source: MSNBC, Nom Nom Paleo]