Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Is Paula Deen's Diagnosis Adding to the Southern Trend?

I am sure you have all been following the headlines surrounding Paula Deen's announcement that she has Type 2 Diabetes. Turns out she has been Diabetic for 3 years now. Why did she choose to come out in the open now? Probably because she has an endorsement deal with one of the biggest diabetes healthcare companies, Novo Nordisk.

Whether Paula Deen decides to change the concept of her show is up to her. Personally though, I think we should all leave her alone. She is not forcing any of us to eat her food; we are all able to make our decisions about what we put in our mouthes. We all know the consequences of poor eating choices. Despite all of this, Paula has launched a website (sponsered by Novo Nordisk) called Diabetes In A New Light ( It discusses her opinions about cooking and health. Her belief is "everything in moderation" and claims the way she cooks on her show is not how she lives her lifestyle.

The CDC indicates that Type 2 Diabetes has had a dramatic rise in our country for the past 20 years. Now, 36 out of 50 states have a prevalence of 25% or more. Eight of these states are in the south: Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas; they have a prevalence of 30% or more. So even though Paula Deen's diagnosis is not a big shocker, it does add to the trend that many people in the south have habits that are putting them at the lower end of the health curve. This is probably because of our poor food choices, large portions, and lack of focus on physical activity. In the south we are known for our bar-b-que, sweet tea, soul food, gravies, fried foods and anything cheesy, meaty, or greasy. So while Paula Deen doesn't necessarily have to change her show she did just became a southern statistic.

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