Paula Deen’s show and cookbooks are heavily laden with fat, rich cream, bacon, meats, and cheesy pastas. Should we be surprised that she has adult onset diabetes? No. Should we feel weird that she knew it for three years, did her cooking show without mention of lower carb options or the importance of eating that stuff in moderation? Maybe. Is it weird she made the announcement only with the paid backing of Novo Nordisk who makes insulin and other diabetes products? Yes.
Novo Nordisk makes Novolog and Levemir insulin, Prandin and Victoza among other diabetes products. Paula Deen is now a paid spokesperson for them. Novo Nordisk is doing quite well financially with this current increase in adults being diagnosed with diabetes. Novo Nordisk playing a role in a show promoting fat filled, high carb, and meat filled dinners should make us all feel weird.
Adult onset diabetes should be thought of as a preventable illness. Don’t get me wrong, some of my patients work their butts off to prevent the onset of diabetes, yet eventually need medications. Remember though, that adult onset diabetes first declares itself as insulin resistance or “pre-diabetes.” At that point, a diet and exercise regimen, avoiding the kinds of food Paula Deen cooks on her show, can help prevent the onset of diabetes and the need for insulin. It would have been nice for diabetic Paula Deen to mention modifications that can be made to her recipes, which she now intends to do, without the incentive pay from Novo Nordisk.
Now, does every adult watching her show know that food is bad for you? Sure. It is our responsibility to know that yummy foods like the ones she makes should only be eaten in moderation. Similarly, I have kids who watch skateboard stunts on TV (on Jackass) and end up in the ER with a broken wrist. Some of it is our responsibility.
What are your thoughts? Diabetes is no joke. It is still the number one reason people are on dialysis for diabetes related kidney failure, the number one cause of non-traumatic limb amputation, the cause of blindness, and of course increases your risk of stroke and heart disease. Is Paula Deen’s financial backing from the drug company making insulin-while she promotes foods terrible for diabetes- offensive?
- Dr O.