Paula Deen Doesn't Think She's to Blame for Getting Diabetes

Say What!? 23

paula deenPaula 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

celebrities, eating habits, eating healthy, preventative medicine, chefs & cookbooks, healthy choices


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chigi... chigirl1228

Don't get me wrong. I love Paula Deen but maybe...just maybe...she should have laid off all that butter.

douxm... douxmusique

I think it does play a role, but I also think that many individuals ASSume it's simple to reverse the past full of habits.

Steph... StephiCramer

When my mom was diagnosed with diabetes after my brother was born, her doctor told her there was nothing she could have done to prevent it. If you're going to get it, you're going to get it. Even if you eat nothing but broccoli your entire life. Your diet might bring it faster, but it doesn't change the outcome.

I'm sick of people being so judgemental towards Paula. 

nonmember avatar JaneDWill

Diabetes Insipidis isn't your fault. Type 1 diabetes isn't your fault. Type 2 diabetes is in large part your fault. Deen is implying that you're not to blame for showing no self-control in your dietary habits. Millions of doctors disagree. If you listen to Deen and continue to abuse your body with the filth she promotes, you deserve the results of it. Listen to your doctor, not Deen.

nonmember avatar Luke

StephiCramer: Paula Deen has Type 2 Diabetes. Does your mother have Type 2? You shouldn't spread misinformation. Sedentary lifestyles and obesity are leading cause of Type 2. To suggest that a physically fit person with acceptable cholesterol levels will "get it because they're going to get it" is medically false. That person isn't even close to fitting the profile of a patient at risk. Unlike the other two forms of Diabetes, this is preventable. People often look for reasons to shirk responsibility for their condition. Deen is talking about the disease as recklessly as she cooks. As a public figure she needs to be held accountable for her public statements.

Taisie Taisie

I think it's so funny the writers here at the stir keep posting articles pointing the finger of blame at Paula for her diabetes when ya'll ALSO keep posting all these sticky yummy gooey calorie ridden oh-so-bad for you dessert-a-day recipes. I'm thinkin maybe you people don't have any mirrors to look into? And I wonder who ya'll will blame when you get type 2 diabetes? Statistics show some of you will...

nonmember avatar Esai

Sigh...Look people, there are consequences for what you put in your body. This isn't some autoimmune disease. It won't "just happen no matter what you do". If you are taking dietary and/or health advice from a woman who ate herself into obesity, you deserve what you get.

nonmember avatar JustMe

As someone who is genetically predisposed to diabetes, you CAN prevent Type II... Quote: "her doctor told her there was nothing she could have done to prevent it. If you're going to get it, you're going to get it. Even if you eat nothing but broccoli your entire life. Your diet might bring it faster, but it doesn't change the outcome." That is only true for SOME people (a MINORITY of people). However, Type II Diabetes is a combination of both Insulin Resistance (body doesn't use insulin correctly/efficiently) AND Beta cell dysfunction (pancreas stops producing enough insulin due to damage) you can prevent only so much, but MOST people can keep their pancreas healthy through diet and exercise. There ARE cases where the breakdown is inevitable, they call that Type I diabetes. Also I have a friend who has Type II and she controls it through diet alone and the Dr. told her, if she had been eating that way before her pancreas gave out, she wouldn’t have gotten diabetes.

nonmember avatar Lani

Paula, show me the scientific proof that lack of exercise coupled with a bad diet doesn't contribute to Type 2 diabetes. Where are your medical sources? What respected medical association has reversed it's position on the contributing factors of the disease? Where is your scientific research saying that diet only plays a tiny role in this disease? How about the pro-Paula crowd? Anyone?

navyw... navywife0204

I have type 2 diabetes, and I believe genetics does play a part.  I had been working on my diet and everything trying to lower my cholesterol, so I had already cut out a good portion of things that would affect  the diabetes.  Yet that didn't stop me from getting it.  I do think the choices i made affected the severity of it.  I'm not insulin dependent, and I was lucky I had a thorough doctor.

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