Thursday, January 19, 2012

Baby Boomer Obesity and Paula Deen

In case you haven't heard, baby boomers are becoming known for more than being the "greatest generation." According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, a unhealthy percentage of us are being treated for obesity. And who might we have to thank for that?

Some are now pointing their bellies, hips and thighs to the queen of southern cooking: Paula Deen. This week, Deen announced she has Type 2 Diabetes---even though she continues to promote her high fat, high calorie recipes as the "best tasting, finger-lickin' good" food you'd ever want to eat. It's no secret she has made millions off of non-suspecting baby boomers with her products and best selling book, Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible.

But now get this: Paula says she is now teaming up with Novo Nordisk to endorse the company's diabetes drug Victoza. Victoza is an injectable drug used with diet and exercise to control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. She also claims she will be donating a portion to the American Diabetes Association.

I wonder if the portion she plans to donate will be as hefty as those southern "kill me with a heart attack, hypertension, diabetes" dishes she's served up to us gullible boomers.


Anne Holmes said...

I agree, Beverly, that we boomers are being treated for obesity, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and Type 2 diabetes in huge numbers.

But I don't think we can put all the blame on Paula Deen.

After all, I like to think we are fairly intelligent beings, and as such, not so gullible that we can say we DIDN'T KNOW those butter laden dishes of Paula's were two things: decadently delicious and only to be eaten in moderation.

As a PWD2 - person with type two diabetes - I well recall that I went into shock when I was diagnosed. I recall I FREAKED OUT, trying to figure out what was safe to eat. Especially because I was about to head off on a cruise when I got the news.

And somehow, I had the fear that there would be NOTHING available to eat on that ship which would be healthy.

Of course there was: cruise ships these days offer plenty of healthy food options, and of course, one also has plenty of opportunity to get some exercise, even if all you do is walk from your stateroom to the dining room!!

But as for what I could eat: my doctor sent me to a dietician, and I got that all figured out fairly quickly. Newly diagnosed PDWs DO need help, advice and hand-holding for a little while, while they get their blood sugar numbers under control and figure out what works for them.

These days my blood sugar numbers are always under 110, and my disease is under good control, simply with diet and exercise.

Paula's team-up with Novo Nordisk is going to be interesting. But for now, you have to say they are getting their money's worth considering all the free publicity that is being generated.

I say leave her alone. Stop the free publicity.

Donna Maria @ Indie Business said...

I agree that Paula's recipes are full of fat and all kind of things we should not eat a lot of. I disagree that anyone making the recipes from her show or books is "non-suspecting" or "gullible." You'd have to be living under a rock not to know that if you eat like Paula cooks all the time, you are not eating healthfully, and you will gain weight and/or develop other serious medical conditions.

In my opinion, anyone who is obese due to making and eating foods from Paula's show or books has themselves to thank for it. How can we put that on Paula?

Beverly said...

Hi Donna!

Thanks for adding your thoughts here.

I think people want what they want and Paula has outstanding salesmanship, making it easy to overlook how terrible the recipes are.

Can we blame Paula for cooking up her recipes? No, we can't but there is something to be said about a woman who keeps hawking her unhealthy recipes on us---KNOWING she was a diabetic--and then turning around and now hawking a diabetic drugYo

Beverly said...

Hey Anne,
Yep! She sure is getting plenty of FREE publicity out of this isn't she?

In the South, she is EXTRMEMLY POPULAR. Her style of cooking is a way of life here and she just enhances it. People look at her as a big time celebrity who knows how to cook delicious recipes that they want to eat no matter what. Sad, but true.

Mitch said...

As someone who's already on a pen, I have no problems with Paula Deen and I'm happy for her that she was able to last so long before having to deal with this issue.

What I don't like are some of the potshots people are taking at her; if they're not diabetic they have no concept of what it's about and should just shut up about it. I don't know much about her (never had any of her recipes) but she's a business woman and what she does for her business, or advertising later on, has nothing to do with her health issue. I wish I didn't have it.

Beverly said...

I could see it if you just found out last week or perhaps a month ago but she's known for THREE YEARS--just around the time she started getting really popular. I see it as hypocrisy. Do whatever you have to for a buck---or should I say, a million bucks in her case!

Carol Covin said...

Paula Deen appears to excusing herself by saying she doesn't recommend that people eat like she cooks all the time. Just as the fast food restaurants said they didn't expect people to eat every meal there.And, the cigarette manufacturers tried for years to defend themselves by saying, "We're not making anyone smoke. It's a choice." Truly, unhealthy food choices are attractive and cheap. Education is the key to helping people understand what their choices mean to their health. Anne Holmes' comment that she got this education after a wake-up call diagnosis doesn't mean everybody has to wait to be motivated. We're models for our grandchildren, after all.

Beverly said...

In the South, Paula Deen's style of cooking reigns supreme. The fact that she was on TV promoting it validated her and that so-called southern-style. Now she's turning around and promoting a drug to combat the recipes she made millions off of.