The Food Network personality and author of cookbooks, Paula Deen was told three years ago that she had Type 2 diabetes. She shared it with her family but did not make a public announcement until she knew how she could benefit others with the news.
Today co-host Al Roker hit on the rumors about Deen's health being in the news for almost one year since a story in the National Enquirer. Why, he asked has she kept the news to herself? Read: Paula Deen's diabetes exposed.
"I intentionally did it. I came home and told my husband and my children and said I'm going to keep this close to my chest for the time being. I had to think about it, get with my doctor. I could have walked out and said, 'Hey y'all, I've been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and walked away. I had nothing to give to my fellow friends out there."
When asked about the accusations that Deen's condition was kept secret so as not to cast aspersions on her famously delicious and fatty Southern style recipes, the Georgia native tossed them aside.
"Al, you know people aren't going to stop eating. We quit eating, we're all out of here. I wanted to bring something to the table, when I came forward. I've always thought I was one to bring hope, because I've had lots of obstacles in my life."
Roker, who famously dealt with his weight problems in the public eye for decades focused next on Deen's recipes, many of which are heavy in both calories and fat. Does Deen understand that many people see a diet filled with her specialties as a road to diabetes, he asked.
It is there that Paula Deen knew she had to draw a line between accusations that she caused her own disease to explaining other factors that make up the road map to diabetes.
"There are many other things that can lead to diabetes -- certainly genetics, certainly your lifestyle, certainly what you eat, certainly stress.."
A doctor was brought in to the interview to explain that being overweight, lack of regular exercise and of course genetics are all intertwined in leading people down the road to diabetes. Aging also makes one more prone to the disease if all other factors are added to the equation.
For now, Deen is doing all the things her doctor recommends including getting on a treadmill and making sure she checks her sugar level throughout the day. Image source: Wikimedia Commons