Paula Deen gave Prevention magazine an exclusive interview, talking about the three years she kept her diabetes diagnosis to herself and about the backlash that followed. We got a surprise about that Novo Nordisk endorsement deal. But we also got this puzzling quote.
I don't want 25 million people out there with diabetes blaming themselves. This is not something we choose. Diabetes is like a puzzle, and if the pieces fit together, then we show up with type 2 diabetes.
I'm sorry, what? This is not something we choose? Where is the personal responsibility? What about that full cup of sugar Paula says she was drinking every day in her iced tea? I get what she means about diabetes being a puzzle, but you're putting some of those pieces in place with your lifestyle choices. I don't care how unpopular it is to say so.
Oh Paula, why'd you have to put it that way? Is this what they mean about catching more flies with honey? I don't know. I can see how you'd want to sweet talk people into making healthier choices, but if you go too far, you give people the impression that a lot of it is out of their control. And by the way, it's called Prevention magazine, not "Damage Control" magazine. I mean, the premise is that you have some sort of agency in the matter. Is it ALL YOUR FAULT if you have type 2 diabetes? No -- but you did play a part in it.
I've been on the fence over Paula's ... let's call them "struggles" over the whole diabetes debacle. I think there's a lot we can learn about ourselves from her health issues, and that's why I've been reluctant to step in line with the shame parade that's been jeering at her all the time. But goll darn, a little humility and self awareness from the Deen sure would help! I'm losing faith in our gal.
Anyway, another interesting detail: Paula says Novo Nordisk didn't even know she had diabetes when they approached her for the endorsement. They just wanted to challenge her to make her recipes more diabetic-friendly. Hmm, interesting.
Anyway, you can read the second half of the interview online, but the first half is in the print version, only.
Do you think personal responsibility plays a role in type 2 diabetes? If so, how much of a role?
Image via Prevention