Now I know what you're expecting me to say, that the fact a woman who sandwiches hamburgers in doughnuts is getting her comeuppance, blah, blah, blah. The whole story is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel. Which I would never do, because, true stuck-up foodie that I am, I prefer my salmon wild-caught (lower in fat AND better for the environment, you see).
The truth is, from what I've seen of her, I like Paula. She's very funny. Don't get me wrong--I wouldn't touch her food with a ten-foot butter knife. Or cook it for that matter. I like to bake, but, even simply eyeballing her recipes, they are all far too sugary for my taste, and far to reliant upon processed, prepackaged ingredients.
The whole uproar about her diabetes is a bit predictable, though. Paula Deen's food is unhealthy. She has diabetes so that proves it is unhealthy.
Guess what? Newsflash: Even if Paula Deen DIDN'T have diabetes, her food would STILL be unhealthy and contain more calories than the average person should consume in a day. This always reminds me about the pointed comments my stepmother makes, that my Greek grandmother lived to almost ninety, and never ate vegetables, and "ate nothing but meat and sweets."
Sadly, the fact that my grandmother was quite overweight, and could never move around comfortably was not seen as a downside to making those life choices. Some people, of course, struggle with tremendous physical challenges, through no fault of their own--but how sad to be limited, physically, by something that you could seek to change.
I think there is some fair criticism about the fact that Deen only revealed that she had diabetes after being paid to shill for a diabetes drug. That is pretty crass and craven, although given that Deen also televised her wedding (apparently) for a fee, it's not exactly this is the first time she's cannibalized her personal life for monetary gain.
I think the issue annoys me so much because you can NEVER generalize about any particular food/lifestyle/etc. based upon the health history of ONE PERSON. The best example of this is Doctor "Eat the bacon and the butter, leave the bread and the orange juice" Atkins. You could practically hear all of the low-fat/high-carbohydrate/vegan advocates waiting for him to keel over from a heart attack. And all of the 'carbs will kill you' dieters were certain he would live as long as Methuselah. However, the good doctor will have a lasting place in my heart, because bless his saturated fat-laden little soul, he clearly understood literary irony, and chose to die by slipping and falling on ice, which anyone could do, regardless of whether they had eggs or fruit for breakfast.
Guess what? Some people are overweight and eat horribly and don't get diabetes. Some people are relatively slender, work-out, and still develop it. But there is no question, based on a wealth of scientific studies, that not exercising, being obese, and engaging in unhealthy lifestyle habits can dramatically increase your risk for developing the condition. It doesn't mean that you will get diabetes 'fer sure' just that you are increasing your risk if you have those factors present in your life, particularly if you couple that with an unfortunate genetic legacy.
It doesn't matter what one celebrity chef cooks or eats. At all. Some diabetics have had worse luck than others--the question is, how to you want to eat to lead a more enjoyable life? For me, that means being active to do the things I love.
EVERYONE who has something to say about this (except me, because I am totally objective and unemotional like a kind of foodie Vulcan) already had their mind made up about Deen. Hard core health foodies regard her as their Kryptonite and were longing for this news bite more than their first
Mainly, I feel pretty sad for her--for all of her wealth and no matter how many drug endorsements she makes, she can't buy good health. And while people who do 'eat to live' and not 'live to eat' are often portrayed as joyless, I have to say that since I became the person I am today--someone who runs/eats more vegetables/flosses/gets up early, I am very much a happier person, a more generous person, and a person with more curiosity about what I do with my life and my body. It's funny that hedonism regarding food (and other indulgences) can actually be very limiting, and actually shackle you to a life of less mobility, rather than liberate you with a wild and crazy lifestyle.