paula deenThere's a nasty rumor going around that Food Network star Paula Deen has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I'm hoping to god for her sake -- and ours, too! -- there's no truth to it. Unfortunately, if we are to believe the tabloids, the outlook is not so good.

The National Enquirer was first with the story, reporting that friends of the 64-year-old chef said she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes several years ago, yet has kept the illness a secret from her fans. Now, the Daily Mail and Eater are running with it, too.

First, my condolences and best wishes go to Paula Deen and her family. I've been a fan of hers since seemingly the beginning of time, and the possibility that she has this life-threatening illness deeply saddens and concerns me.

That said, of course, I'm hoping she realizes her responsibility to come clean to her fans. She owes it to us, don't you think?

Paula Deen, affectionately known to her fans as "The Butter Queen," has become rich and supernaturally famous by touting a diet of unhealthy Southern-style cooking. Even if she's not your favorite chef, it's likely you have at least one favorite recipe that happens to be from Paula Deen -- mine is her Red Velvet Cake. And, it's also likely that particular recipe calls for ungodly amounts of butter, sugar, and fat.

See that's the thing about Paula Deen. She's never apologized or tried to hide her predilection for unhealthy cooking, which has spun off into a veritable money-making empire of books, restaurants, TV shows, cookware, and who knows what else. But it's that very same cooking that contributes to the obesity epidemic and can bring on diabetes. It did exactly that for her -- except that's what she doesn't want us to see.

It makes sense why she wouldn't want to admit she has the illness. As a family friend of Deen's told the Enquirer:

When Paula was diagnosed with diabetes I think she was worried that if her secret got out, it would make her look like a hypocrite.

But Paula is already so larger than life and popular with fans, surely they'd be forgiving and supportive of her honesty. Plus, if she advised her millions of fans to cut the large portions of high-fat, high-calorie foods from their diets -- like she is rumored to be doing to be healthier -- think of how many lives that could save! We could still enjoy her decadent recipes, just on a more occasional basis. And there would be an opportunity for Paula to expand into the delicious, healthy recipe market -- oh the possibilities!

After all, if the Cookie Monster has amended his message to "a cookie is a sometimes food," then surely the relentlessly charming Paula Deen can come up with something, too.

 

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