Food Network chef Paula Deen sat down with Al Roker on the Today Show this morning to quiet the “does she or doesn’t she” chatter related to her diabetes status. After an April 2010 tabloid story, rumors have circulated that the Southern cook, famous for her use of ample amounts of butter and Krispy Kreme donuts as hamburger buns, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. (There are many potential causes for type 2, but eating processed meats, like bacon, and watching more than two hours of TV per day may increase your risk.)
Today, Deen took to the airwaves to address the rumors—and confirm that three years ago she was, in fact, diagnosed with type 2. “I’m here today to let the world know that this is not a death sentence,” she told Roker.
Deen decided to keep mum until now, she explained, because she didn’t have a full explanation of her action plan moving forward and needed time to come to terms with the diagnosis. But after consulting with her doctor and Dr. Mehmet Oz, she launched “Diabetes in a New Light” to support others with type 2, in conjunction with pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. Personally, Deen has also given up sweet tea and started walking on a treadmill, according to USA Today, but will not plan to drastically alter the types of dishes she shares on her show. (“I have always eaten in moderation,” she explained. “It’s for entertainment.”) However, her son Bobby recently launched Not My Mama’s Meals on Cooking Channel, during which he tries to lighten up Paula’s recipes and cut the calories and fat without cutting taste.
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Now tell us: Do you think that Deen should change the types of recipes she shares on her show Paula’s Best Dishes to reflect her new health focus? Or is it the responsibility of the viewer to realize that these meals are “treats?”