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Paula Deen: Secret Diabetic?

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The rumors started almost two years ago, with a report in the National Enquirer: Paula Deen, champion of “Southern-style” cooking and a mainstay of cable-TV’s Food Network, was suffering from type-2 diabetes! But the story died quickly, and hasn’t been revisited until reports late last week claimed Deen would be confirming the news, possibly as soon as this week.

The current round of rumors (and denials) say that Deen will come clean about her diabetes as soon as tomorrow, during an already-scheduled appearance on a morning news program. Her incentive to admit having the disease? A reported multi-million dollar contract to endorse a specific anti-diabetes drug (the manufacturer that she supposedly signed a contract with says it has no deal with Deen). The author of five cookbooks has said nothing on the latest set of rumors.

The possibility that Deen has type-2 diabetes isn’t terribly surprising. Her recipies, filled with lots of fats and sugar, are just the kind of foods that have been linked with unhealthy weight gain, a major, though not the only cause of type-2 diabetes (click here for more information about the disease). Ironically, her son Bobby has started a new series on cable TV, Not My Mama’s Meals, where he creates lower-fat and sugar versions of his mother’s classic recipies.

There is currently no cure for either type-2 diabetes, which used to strike adults almost exclusively (although a wave of teens and young adults have gotten the disease due to poor diet and lack of exercise), or type-1 diabetes, which usually strikes children and teenagers. Long-term complications from diabetes include: heart difficulties, vision problems, kidney failure, and amputations of arms and legs, brought on by poor circulation. Talking to your (and your childen’s) doctor about diabetes is an important way to find out the risk of the disease in your family.


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