The Skinny – Amy Brunell

What to think about Paula Deen?

Well she’s been treasured and vilified. She’s feeding America-she’s hurting America! Recently big news in food world was the revelation that Paula Deen had type 2 diabetes diagnosed three years ago. She revealed her medical condition coinciding with a new drug endorsement deal for diabetes. The timing of her medical revelation and the sponsorship deal seemed to many questionable. “Chef Anthony Bourdain called Deen, ‘the worst, most dangerous person to America’ for pushing unhealthy recipes. When asked by what he thought of Deen’s diagnosis, he retained his critical tenor towards the Southern chef. ‘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,’ he said. ‘It’s bad taste if nothing else.’”

Ms. Deen said she didn’t reveal her diagnosis because she needed time to figure out how she was going to deal with it. She reports besides taking medication, she is now walking. Ms. Deen also gave up sweet tea, saying that for a southern woman that was really a sacrifice. When people face a life changing diagnosis like diabetes or other weight-related diseases, it’s time to get serious about reversing the affects of the disease. Paula’s message seems to be “make small changes and take a drug,” instead of getting serious about changing her life.

Paula responded to her critics claiming she doesn’t eat the way she portrays on her show. She only cooks on TV 30 days a year because her shows are taped ahead of time. She claims the key in her life is moderation. At her current weight, she would not be considered a healthy weight and yet she has a life changing disease. Her weight is not the result of moderation. Something is going on? Can she come out of her denial and face her future?

I have been struggling with weight since I was 13 years old. I work in the weight industry and have come to realize that my idea of “moderation” is different than other average Americans. Most people who say they are going to eat in moderation, still probably eat too much. In addition, Ms. Deen is known for recipes full of salt, sugar and fat-a triad that can lead to severe cravings and addiction to those foods.

Note-worthy healthier trends are based on a plant-based diet with processed foods rarely crossing ones lips-perhaps only 10% of the time or less. Sugar is also drastically reduced and suggested as a treat only on occasion. Most people I know have 1 to 3 treats a day.

We all have the choice to eat what we please and yet are we still denying the consequences? So far, I haven’t seen from Ms. Deen an understanding of the consequence of her lifestyle choices. And please let me say, I’m sure she must be suffering. The consequences for eating lots of fat, salt and sugar is that we become addicted to it and we crave more. When we are overweight, we risk developing disease. When we are not active, we risk our body breaking down. We eat way more than we are supposed to and still try and call it “moderate.” We can understand Ms. Deen because many of us deal with the consequence of our own choices and we suffer.


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