21 Responses

  1. Sean Kelley
    Sean Kelley January 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm | | Reply

    Apt summation, Amy. I do hope she does more than take Norvo Nordisk’s money.

  2. Ranae Whitmore
    Ranae Whitmore January 17, 2012 at 7:02 pm | | Reply

    A very nicely written commentary! But then, would we expect any less of AmyT We have sure come to look to DiabetesMine as an informative source of information and a “go to” place for the latest information and/or reviews of medications, new products, disease information and treatments and those stories that are “in the news”, like this one with Ms. Deen.

    If Ms. Deen truly wants to make a difference to the masses, she has the greatest opportunity at this time to readjust her recipes, teach others the dietary changes that need to done, start a whole new show and rewrite cookbooks. As a non-diabetic, I am cooking for my husband and my mother-in-law and would LOVE to watch and purchase cookbooks of that nature.

    Being one who questions one’s motives, especially when hiding the fact that one has diabetes for 3 years and lines up a deal with Norvo. Money is not everything … a little “paying it forward” and “helping others” would go a lot farther with me and give a lot better PR.

    Keep up the great work AmyT. Would love to hear a follow-up on Ms. Deen’s experience with Victoza.

    Best wishes,

  3. Janet
    Janet January 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm | | Reply

    I like the comment you posted from Kelly Kunik–We (PWD) should be here to help, not judge. However, I do believe she has to bear responsibility for making an empire from teaching the public how to cook dishes that are the antithesis of healthy, diabetes-friendly recipes. I’ve never followed her show because I knew her style of cooking did not mesh with my style. But she and I do agree on one main point–enjoy everything in moderation. Granted she needed time to come to grips with her disease. But my question for Ms. Deen is this…Have you been promoting moderation for the past 3 years?

  4. Scott Strange
    Scott Strange January 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm | | Reply

    Thanks Amy, this sums up my feelings for the most part…

  5. Nikki Rose
    Nikki Rose January 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm | | Reply

    Nice report, Amy. Very charitable. Paula Deen is a culinary personality. The premise of her work is to influence people to cook and eat the way she does. Her producers, publishers and their advertisers’ goal is to capitalize on that formula. Of course, her fans have a choice and should absolutely think for themselves. Paula and her audience have choices. Alas, her choice to promote a drug company as a quick fix to her condition is her choice alone. But in her position, it would be tragic if she does not opt to research options beyond conventional medicine. I hope she will turn this around to truly research her condition in terms of dietary changes that are proven to be helpful to diabetics, and educate her fans to find ways to deal with diabetes via food choices. Wishful thinking….

  6. Pharmaguy
    Pharmaguy January 18, 2012 at 4:04 am | | Reply

    Thanks for your point of view, Amy.

    I will be interviewing Ambre Morley, Associate Director, Product Communications, Novo Nordisk, about why her company teamed up with celebrity chef Paula Deen as a spokesperson for type 2 diabetes treatment. See

    Deen says “I had to really get myself into a good place when I made the announcement. I would come with information, and I would be armed to be able to help others.” I guess Novo will help her do that, but one wonders which came first? Her desire to help others or the Novo deal?

    According to drug industry (PhRMA) guidelines for promotion of drugs (which is what the Deen Deal is all about), every promotion should include lifestyle changes that help improve the condition when treated by a drug. I’m not a follower of Deen, but she now says to eat her food “in moderation.” I doubt if she has ever said that before she teemed up with Novo. She certainly doesn’t say that in the video where she prepares a glazed donought-egg-bacon-burger “breakfast” sandwich! Find the video here:

    The questions I will ask Ambre include:

    (1) Why did Novo Nordisk decide to work with Paula Deen as a spokesperson? Did she or her agents approach you? Give us the history of how this relationship came to be.

    (2) Doesn’t her “baggage” of being a chef who features foods like a fried-egg bacon burger on a glazed doughnut bun (see video above) make her a questionable spokesperson for type 2 diabetes for which fatty, sugary diets are a known risk factor?

    (3) You said that Deen is using Victoza. Can you tell us how long Ms. Deen has been on Victoza?

    (4) Are decisions to hire celebrities made solely by the marketing team or is upper management required to sign-off on such deals?

    (5) How much is Paula Deen and her sons being paid by Novo Nordisk?

  7. Steve Williams
    Steve Williams January 18, 2012 at 5:23 am | | Reply

    As a type 2 diabetic, I intend to find a replacment therapy for Victoza, as this smacks of the movie quote, “show me the money!” We are not and should not reward unacceptable behavior!

    Think about how this news would have impacted her $4mil a year salary and endorsements! (

  8. Ann Bartlett
    Ann Bartlett January 18, 2012 at 5:41 am | | Reply

    After reading her recipe for bacon, egg & donut burger, I believe she is not a culinary expert, she is a fat pill. I love food, but love healthy eating so much more!

    I think Paula Deen needs to spend sometime getting to know our very favorite t2 advocate, David Mendosa! :)

  9. Mim
    Mim January 18, 2012 at 7:15 am | | Reply

    Blame is never productive. But we, as a nation, act as though those who develop type 2 diabetes need not take any responsibility for getting there. Then we promote folks becoming drug reliant rather that taking responsibility in managing their type 2 diabetes through true dietary changes.
    We have our heads in the sand!

  10. AmyT
    AmyT January 18, 2012 at 7:49 am | | Reply

    @Sean – my point exactly! A lot of folks are understandably disgusted with Novo Nordisk for choosing her as a spokesperson.

    Peter W writes on our Facebook page:
    “There are many celebrities who have diabetes who have been ‘out’ about it and had it longer than she has who would be better spokespeople than the woman who pushes Smithfield pork products!”

    True that.

  11. Lily
    Lily January 18, 2012 at 8:33 am | | Reply

    Paula Deen is exactly what this country does not need. She is an opportunist and money hungry woman with no morals and values. To be given the opportunity to be a row model to people as a home cook and teacher and use it in such a unhealthy and irresponsible way was just the beginning and now that she knows her cooking show is out the door she is using a drug company to make her next millions. Utterly disgusted by her and Novo Nordisk.
    They should be using people that have lived normal healthy lives and have diabetes represent them not someone who has possibly encouraged many people to lead unhealthy lives.

  12. Mark
    Mark January 18, 2012 at 8:59 am | | Reply

    My issue is not that Paula Deen has Type 2, but how the media are handling “diabetes” in general. I have already seen many recent news articles incorrectly combining Type 1 with Type 2 and how both are curable through diet and exercise. I’m sure there’ll be more of this naivete to come.

  13. Julia
    Julia January 18, 2012 at 10:14 am | | Reply

    Why is Paula Dean going to be the spokeswoman for Type 2? Why is she rewarded for promoting obesity and unhealthful recipes (hers are so bad they are not even fit for occasional consumption). I saw her put a hunk of lasagna on a loaf of garlic bread and start eating the whole loaf! I believe there was some kind of cake for desert with that…..Surely the drug companies could choose spokesmen who are role models for their community. She hid her diabetes so she could continue to hawk her recipes on TV without the fact that she has Type 2 putting a stain on her image. Yes, it is genetically based, but since one in three may get it, it is a common gene. What about heart disease? Her food would certainly contribute to that. Our Type 1 girl could not even cover some of the concoctions she devises. There is simply either not enough or a safe insulin dose to cover the carbs in her food. I do like her and find her entertaining to watch her show at times… in horror.

  14. Mike Hoskins
    Mike Hoskins January 18, 2012 at 10:42 am | | Reply

    Thanks for your post, Amy. Very balanced, as always, and it pretty much sums up my feelings on this. But I did want to say more: So many criticize her for waiting three years before announcing, and Novo for seeking her out as a spokeswoman for Type 2… but is that justified criticism? She said she waited so that she could bring more to the table and offer something, since she’d been uninformed about T2 overall. I actually think that’s pretty smart. Rather than just announce and then let the blame game ensue (which it has regardless), she came armed with information and a “plan.” Now, I think we can honestly say that her image protection was a part of it – that’s only natural and I’d think it’s a lie to say that wouldn’t factor into ANYONE’S MIND in a situation like this. But with both at play, I personally choose to believe and embrace in the goodness in people rather than the latter and that the “information-sharing” component was more important than the “image-protecting” to her.

    Secondly, on Novo: Deen said the company approached her before even knowing about her T2, and that it was basically along the lines of “Hey, famous cooking lady, would you consider helping us create a more D-friendly meal planning campaign?” Whether one likes her cooking or not or likes how the Novo spokesperson relationship evolved, I think that initial contact speaks to the foundational motives more than anything.

    Again, lots of issues here and you summed them up nicely, Amy. Thanks for doing what you do.

  15. riva
    riva January 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm | | Reply

    Like you Amy, I see both sides of the coin, thanks for a fair and balanced report. Pharmaguy, I would have to agree with you. I was actually taken aback when Deen said on the Today Show that she always says people should eat her food in moderation. I hate to admit it, but working at home, I got into the habit of turning on her show while I ate lunch. It was pure amusement, and I never heard her whisper to viewers to eat her fry and bake-ups moderately ;-)

  16. mcityrk
    mcityrk January 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm | | Reply

    1- Like most Food Channel shows, PD is on strictly for her ability to attract viewers with her showmanship and ability to entertain. The ability to intelligently cook and provide useful dietary input has never been a priority. Anyone watching the show should relize that immediately. 2- If Novo is willing to take the risk of the backlash associated with having a spokesperson who infuriates most of the DC that is their right. It will be interesting to see how long and successful this relationship proves to be!!

  17. Misty Vandermerkin
    Misty Vandermerkin January 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm | | Reply

    Miss Amy T needs to get off her high horse and ride side saddle. Your criticism and elitist mentality is a disgrace – especially to a subset of your reader audience. I’m unsubscribing because I can get my info from other more journalistic neutral sources. Shame on you.

  18. Pharmaguy
    Pharmaguy January 20, 2012 at 8:09 am | | Reply

    Have y’all seen the scathing comments about Novo Nordisk made by David Kliff of Diabetic Investor on Pharmalot?

    Do you think many other people in the diabetes online community agree that Novo Nordisk “could care less” about people with diabetes?

  19. ViSalus and Diabetes
    ViSalus and Diabetes January 25, 2012 at 6:52 am | | Reply

    I don’t know if many of your readers know this so I would like to share. There is a product called the Vi-Shake from ViSalus Sciences that is doing amazing things for Diabetics of both the type I and II variety. Drastic reductions in insulin shots from taking this Nutritional Shake once a day all the way to not having to take insulin anymore. I personally have a family member who has nearly eliminated her need for shots. Please take a look at an article I wrote if you have time. Contact me directly if you have questions and I will be more than happy to answer any of them. I hope this helps. -Mary Lucas
    The article is here:

  20. How Paula Deen Can Advocate for People with Diabetes - Diabetes Daily Voices

    [...] DiabetesMine talks about blame, drugs, and hypocrisy [...]

  21. NIKI
    NIKI June 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm | | Reply


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