Celebrity chef Paula Deen's announcement on the Today show that she has Type 2 diabetes surprised no one, although a few were shocked to hear her next statement. Now that she has diabetes, she's the new spokeswoman for diabetes drug company Novo Nordisk. This is America. If Southern chef Deen can turn a frown upside-down with her infamous Lady's Brunch Burger, she can certainly turn a diagnosis of a potentially fatal disease into a lucrative sponsorship.
This has not gone unnoticed by the anti-Paula Deen, Travel Channel celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. Last August in TV Guide, he dubbed her "the worst, most dangerous person in America." This week, he's been tweeting that Paula has strategically positioned herself to capitalize on her diagnosis. Ironically, Bourdain has also strategically positioned himself to capitalize on Paula's diagnosis. It's no coincidence that the man who became famous by chronicling his own addictions and eating hakarl (rotten shark meat) is in a Twitter war with the cotton candy-haired, twinkle-eyed elf of biscuits and gravy, pork, sugar, cream, three kinds of shredded cheese, and butter-laden Southern fried temptation. Bourdain drinks booze, while Paula Deen drinks butter.
And that is what is wrong with this picture. Instead of promoting healthier food and exercise, Deen has placed that responsibility on her son Bobby, whose new Food Network show is called "Not My Mama's Meals." The story of Paula and her sons is inspirational. She used her cooking talent to keep her family from being homeless. In a rags to riches story, she became one of America's best-known chefs and head of a food empire. Already the spokesperson for Smithfield hams and Philadelphia cream cheese, she's the new adorable face promoting Novo Nordisk pills to combat a disease that physicians believe should be prevented, if at all possible, by a healthy diet and exercise.
As sweet as she is, Paula Deen is addicted to rich, fatty foods and obviously dislikes exercise. A pill may temporarily help Paula and others with diabetes, but they will be better-helped by switching to healthy diets and getting enough exercise. But for now, Paula's looking for a quick fix of medication and money. Just like most of the rest of America.
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