This past weekend, the anticipation of Paula Deen's BIG announcement reached a fever pitch. And now what we suspected has been confirmed. The celeb chef came out today with the news: She was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago, and she says, ever since, she's been taking better care of herself. And now, she's partnering with Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company that makes a diabetes drug, to encourage other patients to take better care of themselves and see "Diabetes in a New Light." That's also the name of their diabetes awareness campaign.
Seems admirable overall, but I can't help but think there's something glaringly missing from Paula's "coming out" party.
Maybe for Paula, her love of sweet tea and all things lard and simple carb made her diagnosis close to inevitable, but that certainly doesn't have to be the case for many Americans who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every day. If she really wanted to spread diabetes awareness, she should have started with step one: Prevention. In her loooooong Southern-drawled spiel that appears on DiabetesinaNewLight.com, Paula doesn't once talk about what led to her diagnosis in the first place. Sure, she mentions how she's had to cut back on certain foods and exercise more, but how about addressing what people can do to safeguard their health in the first place?
Then again, now that she's a paid spokesperson for a drug company reliant on diabetes patients, why would she want to promote prevention? Big Pharma doesn't tend to be too interested in prevention, because if it caught on, that would be bad for business!
Don't get me wrong. Talking about managing a disease that's already impacted a huge percentage of this country is important, so good for Paula for stepping up to the plate to do that. But ignoring and failing to discuss a whole part of the picture is irresponsible.
Do you agree that by not acknowledging type 2 diabetes prevention, Paula's doing America a disservice?
Image via FoodNetwork.com