Paula Deen On Diabetes

Paula Deen's diabetes diagnosis could have ruined a career built on butter -- but she says she let the controversy roll off her back. Here's why.

Paula Deen

A firestorm started in the food world when celebrity cook Paula Deen admitted she has Type 2 diabetes a full three years after her diagnosis -- time that she could have spent promoting a lifestyle far healthier than the fat-laden foods she promotes.

In fact, during that time, she continued to profit off of lucrative endorsement deals with Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Smithfield Ham -- not exactly light and healthy food fare. She did not announce her diagnosis until she was signed as a paid pitch person for the pricey new diabetes drug Victoza.

Deen wants to know: What's the big deal?

"It took me 20 years to come out and stand up and say, 'Hey, my name's Paula and I'm agoraphobic,'" the Food Network star told the Associated Press at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. "I was so ashamed, so embarrassed. So to do it in two-and-a-half years -- I thought it was pretty good."

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"I think a few people who have access to a TV camera and ink kind of wanted to hate on me for coming down with something," she said. "But I so don't worry about it."

"Yes, I am being compensated," Deen admitted. "It's the way of the world. It's the American way. But I am taking a portion of that compensation and giving it back to the [American] Diabetes Association."

Her recipes might get a little lighter -- but just a little. "I am who I am. But what I will be doing is offering up lighter versions of my recipes," she said. "I will have a broader platform now, trying to do something for everybody. But you know, I'm Southern by roots. I was taught (to cook) by my grandmother, and nothing I can do would change that."

Unfortunately, viewers may not see those changes for up to two more years because of how far in advance her show is shot.

Image courtesy Jennifer Mitchell / Splash News

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Comments on "Paula Deen on diabetes scandal: Get over it"

anna June 27, 2013 | 5:52 PM

I was just very upset every time I saw that woman without regard making our people so sick and fat with her fatty cooking, she only did it to get money and get rich, what does she know about healthy foods? I am glad she is not getting the last laugh, I am glad I didn't care for her shows, just I could not help it when in the homes of the patients that I assist daily I was torture listening to her voice. I wanted so many times to call Dr. Oz to ask him if there was anything he could do about that buttery and unhealthy food to be put out of air . I am happy for what happen to her, sooner or later it had to happen.

Clara DeMasters June 24, 2013 | 9:12 PM

Dear Paula, Sorry so many people do so much harm to others, especially when when someone says 'they are sorry.' Who was actually hurt -harmed- by anything you did? Remember M. Stewart ordeal and there many were hurt. She was convicted, served time and now is big as ever. This will blow over for you. Your a bigger and better person who has worked hard. Stay strong. Many people understand how the small-minded work to hurt others.

Lee March 10, 2012 | 7:49 PM

She is who she is....If people that watched her show were looking for diet food...and they hadn't figured out that they were on the wrong channel until now, then they are the ones messed up...not her for doing a southern cooking show each week that everyone knew was going to be comfort food to the extreme...that's the way it is done in the south. Change the channel if you want the health network or diet advise.

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