Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dept. of Duh: Paula Deen, Fried Chicken, Krispy Kreme Donut Cheeseburgers, and Type II Diabetes

Oh, Paula. What a bummer, that Type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Who could have predicted that? Certainly not me or any other living sentient being whose brain cells have not been deep fried and dunked in a chocolate fondu. You eat so healthfully! But you know what is also a bummer? You keeping this diagnosis a secret for three years before telling your many many fans, who wait with baited breath for every masterful recipe you come up with for Twinkie-infused, caramel-smothered, deep-fried sugar-blasted carbohydrate pie. It's... unseemly.

Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE Paula Deen. I went to her Savannah restaurant last year with my mom and sister and we ate like hawgs. (Not like hogs. Like hawgs.) But when you deliberately keep from the public the fact that you've been diagnosed with a disease that is directly related to the culinary lifestyle you are a purveyor of, that's like eating a hot dog and leaving off the hot fudge: just wrong.

As some of you may know, I'm a type 1 diabetic. I was diagnosed when I was 15 after my pancreas just stone cold walked off the job of producing insulin, which my young body needed in order to not die. My diagnosis, as us Type 1 diabetics like to smugly point out, had nothing to do with my lifestyle, my diet, or my love of sugar-coated everything. Type 1 diabetes is a mysterious beast and if it chooses you, there's nothing you can do to stop it from turning you around, bending you over, and sticking it to you good and proper, over and over, for the rest of your life--or, rather, forcing you to stick yourself (usually sitting upright, though not always), sometimes three or four times a day.

But Type 2 diabetes is an altogether different plate of Double Stuffed Oreo Crumble. Like Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 has a hereditary component to it. If you have either of these two in your family, there is a chance you will be chosen by the Diabetes Fairy to wear the crown and sash. But while Type 1 diabetics are shit out of luck when it comes to prevention, those in danger of becoming Type 2 diabetic can actually intervene and lower the likelihood that they get the disease. The key is to reduce your risks: if you have diabetes in your family and you are overweight and eat like a hoss (Hi, Paula!) then you really need to make some changes, like not eating corn dogs wrapped in chocolate chip almond creme truffle pancakes and washing it all down with a mug full of Boston creme all day, every day, forever. And it would be helpful if, when you are told you have the disease, that you not hide this fact from an audience that depends on you for its fix of crusty-toffee-white-chocolate-cherry-chunk-orgy-of-death by chocolate cake recipes. You might think of, you know, educating your flock about the dangers of eating cholesterol directly out of the bag with a soup ladle.

And now Paula has masterfully transitioned to a brand new gig as a Novo Nordisk spokeslady*. Novo Nordisk is the maker of a diabetes drug that will now be the likeliest diabetes drug to be on the tip of Paula's millions of fans' tongues. That is, when their tongues aren't too busy making their way through an entire Wilmington Island Marsh Mud Cake. Ninety-nine percent of these fans will be receiving their Type 2 diabetes diagnosis in 5... 4... 3... 2....

Well played, Novartis.



JPR said...

She sucks (not-covered-in-goey-chocolate-goeiness)hawgs.


KatieO' said...

I'm sorta conflicted on this one: On the one hand, why do we believe celebrities owe us their medical records? On the other hand, walking out to the microphone hand in hand with Novartis to announce her diabetes seems so...I dunno, baldly crass.

TAYLOR said...

in the leg breaking business and then surprise selling crutches !!!!!! a little something I read :)

mirele said...

She's actually shilling a medication (Victoza) made by Novo Nordisk, not Novartis. I take a personal interest in this because I got picked by the diabeetus fairy a few years ago myself and use a competing medication to the stuff she's pushing. My diabetes isn't helped by the fact that I'm overweight, but it was a huge possibility since both of my elderly parents are diabetics. (I've also got it under control.)

I can say this, until this week, the only thing I THOUGHT I knew about Paula Deen is that she loved her some fried food. It turns out it's absolutely worse than that. She loves butter. She takes a perfectly good naked cheesecake (yes, not good for diabetics to start out with, except as an extra special treat, for a birthday maybe) and then proceeds to glop it up with all this stuff like chocolate, wrap it in pastry, slather it with butter and then DEEP FRY it. How can you do that to a perfectly good cheesecake? and WHY? The mind boggles.