By Reena Ninan:
Bacon burgers sandwiched between two donuts and fried cheesecake are what Paula Deen was known for — until news of her type 2 diabetes diagnosis was made public.
Since then, the 67-year-old Food Network host has received backlash from critics, like chef Anthony Bourdain, for not being upfront about her three-year-old diagnosis until she made a paid endorsement commercial with pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk.
Bourdain, host of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations,” went public with his criticism in January tweeting, “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.”
“When your signature dish is a hamburger in between a doughnut, and you’ve been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you’ve got type 2 diabetes. … It’s in bad taste if nothing else,” he told Eater.
Responding to Bourdain’s remarks in the May edition of Prevention Magazine, Deen said: ”I thought, oh my gosh, what hospital did he just get out of?…People out there with diabetes haven’t chosen this. It’s not their fault. I thought that was very, very cruel.”
Bourdain first expressed his disdain for Deen a year before her diabetes announcement, telling TV Guide that her artery-clogging ways made her the “worst, most dangerous person in America.”
But Deen says she’s made changes to her diet by cutting out carbs and eating in moderation. In her ad for Novo Nordisk she says, “I have made simple changes like cutting back on one of my favorite things… sweet tea.”
Her attitude towards her diagnosis and the remarks hasn’t gotten Deen down. She told “The Chew” in January, “When my life is over and when you hear my name – I hope you associate the word ‘hope’ with it.”