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Jan 26, 2012 07:54 PM

Paula Deen eating a cheeseburger

I never was a fan of Paula Deen and the article below only solidifies my negative opinion of her. However, if you are a fan or are giving her benefit of doubt regarding the recent brouhaha over her diabetes and paid endorsement for a diabetes drug, does the article change your opinion of her?

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  1. No, I'm too libertarian; it's her body to so as she wishes. It's up to her advertisers to decide if they want to be affiliated with her after this. What if you are "healthy" but have a family history of cardiac disease and want a hamburger? Should you not be able to have it because of the "risk?"

    1. Let's all remember that anyone on television is a media personality, with their only obligation to themselves and their own. She furthers her own agenda - filling her coffers - much as any other shill does (including my beloved Bourdain).

      2 Replies
      1. re: brooklynkoshereater

        Who has Bourdain been shilling for? He has been making nice money but not any shilling I am aware of. While PD has lots of brand payments going on to the tune of $9 million income each year if you believe internet estimates

        1. re: zzDan

          If you count those awful Chase Sapphire credit card product placements on No Reservations there's that but I think they may have more to do with the Travel Channel/Scripps than him.

          Other than that, I can't think Bourdain promoting much beyond his books or the show.

      2. I can't stand her, but we have no clue what else she ate that day, or even that week. I assume that you can eat a cheeseburger or pretty much anything else you want if you have diabetes, assuming that you balance it out with other, correct choices. I would certainly not expect that TMZ did any kind of background check before posting that photo. Who knows if she even finished the burger?

        Furthermore, agreed with gmk1322. It's her life. Maybe she's hoping for a nice life insurance payout for her sons ;-)

        1 Reply
        1. The only part of that burger that would interfere with her diabetes is the bun. The rest, well, diabetes is not caused by fat.
          I'm so sick of everyone blaming all her butter, cream, and bacon on causing diabetes. It doesn't work that way!

          27 Replies
          1. re: PAINTEDPEGGIES

            THANK YOU for pointing this out. It makes me crazy too. And trying to explain it to someone who thinks they know what they're talking about? Also crazy-making...

            1. re: schmoopy

              "I'm so sick of everyone blaming all her butter, cream, and bacon on causing diabetes. It doesn't work that way!"

              So are you suggesting diabetes is not linked to obesity? Science disagrees with you.

              1. re: twyst

                Actually, diabetes is caused by insulin - resistance, which is caused directly by eating too much sugar. Sugar comes in many forms: actual table sugar, but also in grains (aka hamburger bun) which are converted directly to sugar in our systems. Sugar causes insulin to release, and in turn that insulin signals the body to store fat and not burn it, which accounts for the obesity.

                Science, doesn't disagree with those facts. Years and years of Americans being fed misleading information about fat, sugar, and grains are what is causing YOU to disagree with me, though!

                1. re: PAINTEDPEGGIES

                  Tell that to the millions of Asians whose primary source of calories is white rice. Very little diabetes in that part of the world.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    That's a common misconception and one that's easily countered by a glance at the internet. In fact, type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic in Asian countries. Although it's more complicated than simply linking the increase in disease to one item, like the refined carbohydrate in white rice, a few of these articles note that diabetes is being diagnosed in Asian people with lower BMI's than here in the west. Meaning you don't necessarily have to be obese or white or a stupid redneck to get diabetes. PaintedPeggies is, in fact, exactly right.


                    1. re: neobite

                      My doctor tells me that carbs don't cause diabetes, being overweight causes diabetes.

                      1. re: tigercrane

                        Being overweight is one of the key risk factors, yes, and, no, carbs in and of themselves don't "cause diabetes." I've edited my post because I mainly wanted to respond to the white rice question and I think I got sidetracked from that.

                        But the the fact is that diabetes is a complex disease. The discussion here and your doctor's over-simplified explanation make it difficult to discuss the complexities. Not every obese person becomes diabetic, and not every person with Type 2 diabetes is a fat, cheeseburger-guzzling smoker.

                        I'd never defend the kind of cooking/eating Paula Deen sells, but I also don't want to see discussion of her "trashiness" and unexamined, unchecked hedonism define the discussion of diabetes. There's a strong tendency to conflate obesity with stupidity with diabetes, as well as a strong tendency to regurgitate misinformation as fact where this disease is concerned. People with diabetes are able to eat cheeseburgers, so long as their overall blood sugar is under control and they make allowances for it in the rest of their diet. Among the many things I don't know about Paula Deen is whether she falls in this category. There's a ton of information on diabetes out there from wiser sources than me and I encourage everyone to do a little investigating.

                      2. re: neobite

                        Why thank you!

                        It is such a misconception that skinny AUTOMATICALLY = healthy. I've heard doctors say that the most difficult of all patients is the skinny diabetic. They tend to think they are not sick and are more difficult to get to make dietary changes.

                        1. re: neobite

                          While I think it's possible that Asians are at a risk for diabetes (I don't recall anyone saying it's a white disease), because it's not unusual for them to have sarcopenia, those studies you posted, for the most part, address the rise of diabetes due to the exchange of east/west diets and the growing obesity rate because of it. Obesity plays a big factor, according to the links you provided.


                          "The increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is closely linked to the upsurge in obesity."

                          "Population-based surveys of 75 communities in 32 countries show that diabetes is rare in communities in developing countries where a traditional lifestyle has been preserved. By contrast, some Arab, migrant Asian Indian, Chinese, and U.S. Hispanic communities that have undergone westernization and urbanization are at higher risk;"


                          "With increasing globalization and East-West exchanges, the increasing epidemic of type 2 diabetes in Asia has far-reaching public health and socioeconomic implications."


                          "— These findings indicate that the “diabetes epidemic” will continue even
                          if levels of obesity remain constant. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, it is likely that
                          these figures provide an underestimate of future diabetes prevalence."

                          I'm not sure what the last link you posted, about white rice consumption vs brown has to do w/ the discussion, or if it even makes sense since it compares > 5 servings of white rice per week to >2 servings of brown rice and concludes that white rice is better for US men and women.

                          1. re: neobite

                            It's a growing problem because they're adopting our western diet.

                            1. re: neobite

                              Type 2 diabetes, along with heart disease, is on the rise in Asia due to the adoption of a western-style diet.

                              1. re: neobite

                                but if millions of Asians have been eating rice / carbs daily for millenia, why is diabetes a growing epidemic and not an existing epidemic? i've always assumed that was because Asia has become more exposed to Western "junk" food that is high in fat and sugar. i ask because i don't know, not to be snarky...

                                its not so clear to me that fat does not lead to obesity and cannot lead to insulin resistance. see attached link, which is admittedly over my head a bit, but seems to draw that conculsion:

                            2. re: PAINTEDPEGGIES

                              Some diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, some is caused by excess cortisol or other hormonal problem, some is caused by chronic stress or infections that raise cortisol, and some is LADA or monogenic... Most commonly, it's insulin resistance brought on by excess carb consumption, heritable receptor function, or a combination of some of the above. There are many ways to become diabetic. Many folks are diabetic due to prescribed meds for blood pressure or lipids, like beta blockers and statins.

                              1. re: PAINTEDPEGGIES

                                "Science, doesn't disagree with those facts. Years and years of Americans being fed misleading information about fat, sugar, and grains are what is causing YOU to disagree with me, though!"


                                and thousands of more scholarly articles. Obesity raises your risk factor for type 2 diabetes as being obese makes it more difficult for your body to maintain proper glucose levels. The link was proven in 2009.

                                1. re: twyst

                                  But it seems they have it backward, or out of order, I guess.

                                  Yes, many diabetics are overweight, but obesity is a symptom of their diets. They develop diabetes because they cannot manage the huge amounts of insulin being secreted when bombarded with sugar in the body.
                                  It is sugar/grains/processed carbs>>>overweight>>>insulin resistant>>>diabetes.

                                  The order is what is getting misconstrued and confused, which is what makes people say 'oh she's diabetic because she's fat'. But WHY is she fat? That is the cause of the diabetes...not the other way around.

                                  1. re: Dave5440


                                    Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

                                    Fact: No, it does not. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories, whether from sugar or from fat, can contribute to weight gain"

                                    Thanks for the link, that should just about end the discussion.

                                    1. re: twyst

                                      It's not true. The ADA is not a reliable source of information about type 2 diabetes, nutrition nor risk prevention.

                                        1. re: mattstolz

                                          They recommend 50-60% of diet from carbs, and medications to help you tolerate them, up to 10% of calories from sugar. When they found out sugar was no worse for diabetics than starches, they announced that diabetics should include sugar in their diets, not cut the starch! The standard recco is for a minimum of 35-45 grams of carbs per meal. They count 15 grams as 1 carb serving, and recommend multipoes of that per meal. Bg still too high? MEDS MEDS MEDS. Get glucose related kidney damage? More carbs, less protein and fat! So in the hospital, diabetics are served fat free milk with cereal, juice, toast, pudding and low fat spreads etc... just not fat and protein.

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            exactly. Why would you prescribe a certain diet to diabetics KNOWING it raises their insulin and then push drugs to counteract that diet? Why not just fix the way of eating and cut out or reduce the drugs?

                                            1. re: PAINTEDPEGGIES

                                              If we could raise our insulin, we wouldn't be diabetic. It raises blood glucose, and insulin *requirements*.

                                2. re: twyst

                                  Linkage isn't causation. And folks get fatter faster on grains...

                              2. re: PAINTEDPEGGIES

                                It is the extra calories that cause weight gain that contribute to diabetes, so a poor diet such as all the excessive fat and food she consumes may be a cause for her diabetes.

                                1. re: dolly52

                                  No, it's not weight gain and obesity causing diabetes. Diabetes and obesity are two results of the same endocrine derangement, either due to diet or other hormonal issues.

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    I didn't say weight gain and obesity cause diabetes, I said it CONTRIBUTES to diabetes and that IT MAY be a cause for her diabetes.

                                    1. re: dolly52

                                      And I say it does not, it's caused by the same thing diabetes is caused by. Those of us who became severely IR and DM while slim are legion, too. Diabetic control with the right diet rapidly controls blood sugar, with or without weight loss. Obesity is not a cause, it's a marker for other things gone awry.

                              3. I really don't care what she does. But then, I'm anti food police and I'm not a socialist that thinks my body and eating decisions should be decided by the collective.

                                19 Replies
                                1. re: rasputina

                                  "I really don't care what she does. But then, I'm anti food police and I'm not a socialist that thinks my body and eating decisions should be decided by the collective."

                                  You decisions should definitely be your own and be a completely private matter completely free from criticism from others.........unless you are a public figure making millions of dollars selling a product that has a direct relationship with the activity you are participating in.

                                  1. re: rasputina

                                    See, this is my problem with all this Paula Deen hate.

                                    I criticized The Obamas for their eating choices that were being reported in the press when Michelle was actively lobbying for changes in national food policy. I figured that was a little hypocritical. I was amazed at how many people were quick to jump to her defense.

                                    Those same people are all on the "let's villify PD" bandwagon. However, PD isn't lobbying to influence national food policy. The first lady is. That's a substantial difference and why I care about one and not the other.

                                    1. re: meadandale

                                      Curious about what you've seen Michelle Obama eat that caught your attention. I watch enough news that I'm amazed my head doest't explode, yet I've never seen any coverage of what they actually eat.

                                      1. re: Terrie H.

                                        There was some news about her ordering a Shackburger last summer.

                                        1. re: paulj


                                          there are OTHER women in america who like burgers too??

                                          this is becoming an epidemic.

                                          1. re: mattstolz

                                            Here's the diff: "Obama is, indeed, a careful eater. She's conscientious about eating vegetables (sometimes asking for them even when they're not part of a dish), has a predilection for seafood and sometimes forgoes dessert altogether."

                                            She also hits the gym daily.

                                            1. re: mcf

                                              are we basing this comparison solely on PD's showtime personality, or has someone been following her every day to assure that she is full-time only consuming fried butter and cheeseburgers?

                                              1. re: mattstolz

                                                It's no fun to treat her like a real person. You get better sound bites when you attack a strawman.

                                                1. re: mattstolz

                                                  We don't have to follow her around to know what she's eating, unless she lies about that, too. I doubt that she's mostly eating cheesebugers and fried butter, but I doubt that it matters, given her preferences and offerings.

                                                  BTW, no one loves a good bacon cheeseburger more than I. I just don't eat the bun or fries.

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    so we have the two weeks every six months she spends shooting her tv show (for the three bites in each episode she takes) and a picture of her eating a cheeseburger, plus the fact that she says she likes fried food?

                                                    every time ive seen daniel radcliffe he's been dressed in a cape and waving around a wand, claiming to be savior of the wizarding world. i also saw him at disney doing the same thing. he must be a real wizard then?

                                                      1. re: mattstolz

                                                        And also her apparently long standing diabetes. If she was diagnosed 3 years ago, she's probably been diabetic for 1015 years... the screening tests fail to diagnose 70% of woman with advanced diabetes compared to post meal testing. 48% of men, FTR.

                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                          i dont see how this is any more proof of what she has been eating any time since her diagnosis. I see patients with A1Cs of 9-12 who keep a diary of every single food they eat and take their BS religiously, and are very careful eaters, and have seen people with A1Cs of 6.5 who have no idea what they ate for breakfast even. I also see a lot of patients who ate whatever they wanted up until being diagnosed, and then cleaned themselves up once they found out. what we see on tv could have almost no correlation to real life. heck, Larry the Cable guy doesnt even actually have an accent!

                                                          1. re: mattstolz

                                                            It sounds like the "careful eaters" you describe are following ADA diet reccos.
                                                            Those numbers are astronomically high. Even undiagosed for many years, with kidney and nerve damage, mine was never higher than 6.9% on a very high carb, low fat diet, for instance. Of the hundreds of diabetics I've interacted with for over a decade online, only a rare few have ever reported A1c that high, even on bad diets.

                                                            I no longer have to test often because after years of testing a lot, I know how to eat. I test new foods, or randomly to make sure things are as they should be, but not regularly any longer.

                                                            If you look at Paula's and son's "lightened" up recipes, they get most of their calories from sugar and other carbs. Must also be following ADA recommendations. That money from cereal and candy manufacturers must still be flowing into the ADA.

                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                              what i am saying is there is more than just diet to it. the fact that your A1C was never over 6.9 with a crappy diet should help prove that. you are lucky. because some of these patients are on VERY low carb diets (ive looked at their diet logs myself)

                                                              and my point is, even with the deens lightened recipes, who says THEY are eating them to begin with?? if you want to talk about an act put on to make money, "lightening" a recipe that people consider fatty without actually eating it yourself would be the epitome of that.

                                                              she may be eating nothing but salads besides the bites on her show and the single pic that got leaked of a cheeseburger. that photog could have taken 11000000000 pics of her eating broccoli to get one of her eating a burger. since her diagnosis 3 years ago, her BS and A1C could be totally controlled at this point. we just dont know

                                                              1. re: mattstolz

                                                                It's a diet most folks think is "healthy." It was low fat, high carb vegetarian. Lots of veggies and whole grains, low fat dairy I was on. I have to call you out; people on low carb or very low carb do NOT run HbA1c like you've described, maybe one in two million, do you see that many folks? I flat out know that you're making that up, unless your definition of "low carb" is hundreds of carb grams per day. Or maybe the folks you saw are on statins, beta blockers, other meds that raise blood glucose? Low carb lowers bp and undoes dyslipidemia really fast.

                                                                Why would I eat food that gives me neuropathies and high CVD risk when low carb has proven to reverse those things, and without meds?

                                                                I'm guessing you've never read or seen Paula; she makes it really clear that she hasn't been, nor does she intend to eat, salads, lean meats and grilled veggies. She's taking a life threatening med in order to avoid doing that.

                                                                People with well controlled bg don't go on Victoza. Not only that, A1c is a sloppy, bad indicator of diabetic control, and is often way off due to rate of RBC turnover, inherited disorders, anemia, all sorts of reasons. That's why eating to one's bg meter is the only way to control the disease, cutting the carbs at any meal that spikes glucose to 140 or above at any point.

                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                  my main point about paula is that what we see on screen and at public events can be as much of a character or brand as Dr Greg House or The Kentucky Colonel (at this point at least). it would make her FAR more money to continue being the cook she became famous for, with over the top recipes and claiming to never eat healthy, than to try to change her onscreen persona overnight. people who are a part of the PD fanbase joined because shes not afraid to shy away from those claims, whether it is true or not.

                                                                  and as for my patients, I can only go by what they tell me, because I dont currently test A1Cs myself in office. have to refer to a PCP for that.

                                                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                                                    I'm sure Paula Deen eats salads with lean proteins for very meal, as you say. Anyone under medical care with numbers like the ones you describe has a malpractice claim locked up. The kindest thing to do before they're all amputated and on dialysis would be to give them this:

                                          2. re: meadandale

                                            Who are "these same people"? Show us posts from the same people who vilify Paual Deen and jumped against you for complaining about the Obamas. To say CH did that is misleading because there are thousands of CHs, all of differing opinions and you're going to find opinions that contradict each other.