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The Paula Deen problem

(article, Culinate staff)

Until a couple of days ago, Southern celebrity cook Paula Deen was best known for the deliriously unhealthy recipes (such as a burger topped with eggs and bacon and sandwiched between glazed donuts) that she demonstrated with gusto on the Food Network. 

Now, however, Deen has revealed on the "Today" show that she has Type II diabetes. Reaction has ranged from wry amusement to disgusted outrage. Deen herself asserts that she follows a moderate lifestyle, despite the food she promotes on TV. 

On her blog, food reporter Jane Black chastised Deen for becoming a paid spokesperson for a diabetes-management drug instead of encouraging fellow diabetics to eat a healthier diet. Another blogger, Debbie Koenig, couldn't believe that Deen hid her diagnosis for three years:

bq. Paula Deen has made a huge living off of showing America how to get fat(ter), and instead of taking the responsible route and acknowledging her lifestyle’s role in her diagnosis, she kept it a secret until she nailed down a paid endorsement gig with a pharmaceutical company. Until one of her sons could get his own show on the air. About cooking healthier versions of mama’s food.