Anthony Bourdain on Paula Deen: ‘getting into leg breaking [to] sell crutches’

Paula Deen was all over the place yesterday making the announcement that she has type 2 diabetes and is the new spokeswoman for a diabetes treatment from Novo Nordisk. On the Today Show, Paula admitted that she was diagnosed with the metabolic disorder three years ago, and defended her decision to delay the announcement. Al Roker asked her why she took so long to tell everyone about her diagnosis and she said that she waited because she had “nothing to give to my friends out there.” She meant that she had nothing to market to her audience. As for whether the incredibly unhealthy food she cooks has anything to do with her disorder, she was cagey and said “certainly Al, that is part of the puzzle, but there’s many other things that can lead to diabetes. Certainly genetics, certainly your life style, certainly what you eat, certainly stress. And last but not least is age.” Then she went on to talk about baby boomers and launch yet another pitch for her diabetes program.

One of Paula’s biggest detractors, fellow celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, has weighed in on this story. He initially gave a kind of measured response in an interview with, wondering aloud how long she’s known about it. He was wrong that she wasn’t going to own up to knowing about it for three years though:

What’s your take on Paula Deen supposedly announcing that she has Diabetes and that she landed a multimillion-dollar deal to be the spokeswoman for a pharmaceutical company to endorse a drug she’s taking?
I feel bad. But this entire weekend people have been calling looking for quotes. I guess it’s a moderate interest. I mean, how long has she known?

It’s odd because she was on Dr. Oz last month, and she never mentioned diabetes. Instead she just owned up to smoking cigarettes for 50 years.
We can look forward to People or Us magazine running the cover story, “I’m back” usual rehab story private hell. Clearly this has been coming for a while. She’s been looking for ways to position herself. Is she really going to be selling the cure now? Or will she back off for a decent interval? I take no pleasure in it. There ain’t nothing funny about Diabetes.

So if true, would you agree that it’s hypocritical?
When your signature dish is 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. How long has she known? I suspect a very long time. On Tuesday when she announces it, it’ll be to say I just got diagnosed… Al Roker won’t be asking her how long she’s known. I don’t think people will press that issue.


Then on Twitter, Bourdain wrote “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.” He later clarified that he “Never called anybody a ‘diabetic scam artist’. TMZ’s words. Not mine.”

My previous opinion of Paula up to this point was neutral to positive. She sells this down home sweet image while making food that’s tasty but outrageously bad for you. Maybe it’s a gimmick, maybe she doesn’t really eat much of it herself as she claims. She seems to have eaten enough of it to have seriously affected her health. She’s obviously a smart businesswoman, and a crafty one too. The lady knows how to shill products and market herself, and she kept up the same unhealthy schtick until she had enough endorsements and deals lined up to make the transition into the next one.

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177 Responses to “Anthony Bourdain on Paula Deen: ‘getting into leg breaking [to] sell crutches’”

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  1. Asli says:

    This is… I mean, if you’re “dumb” enough to eat a hamburger between two donuts should you really blame Paula for getting type 2 diabetes?

    • Asli says:

      BTW, I’m not defending her at all but there is a thing called free will. Don’t buy her products or eat her crappy, unhealthy food and you’ll be fine.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Asli-I completely agree in the sense that people are responsible for what they eat. Paula Dean is NOT responsible for the obesity of Americans. I just have an issue with her on a moral/ethical level.

      • Chef JOE says:

        actually its her recipes that are causing obesity and it shows that none of them are proper nutrition for weight control so therefor paula deen is responsible by association since they are her recipes but the consumer has free will and hopefully wisdom to know better what is good for them as far as food and nutrition but then look at ALL the over weight men and women who dont care what they eat or look like or their health until its too late …like 6 feet under

    • cecilia says:

      It’s pretty well impossible for me not to despise her, though. If we all know that kind of food is bad for you, why would she promote it at all? Why not demonstrate how to cook delicious meals that won’t kill you if you eat like that on a regular basis?

      Yes, people have free will, but they’re also suggestible and if she’s not frequently reminding viewers that the food she promotes is essentially toxic, then she should be given some crap for that.

      • Eurogirl says:

        Because some people don’t care about eating healthy. Some people just enjoy good food, and would rather partake than constantly go over whether or not their food is organic, free range, extra super natural low fat, low cal, low carb, whatever the hell.

        It is those people who enjoy this kind of food who watch her show, and towards whom the promos go. If you a health nut, good for you, don’t watch Paula’s show and don’t eat her food. I personally love her pies. My thought process is that everyone has a vice: I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, etc. But I do like food. Also I am not obese or anywhere near overweight.

    • Andrea says:

      Shame on paula. How dare you “push” yiur butter and carbs on an zlready obese nation. You said you had nothing to bring to the table, as in no info…maybe that was true for a week, but you deceived the public.for three years. A first visit to a physician informs you on lowering carb intake and eating low fat. You are obviously into money with no interest in helping your audience. Go eat your grits …off the air…

  2. Jackie says:

    i agree with anthony b. she has been waiting to position herself or maybe she was hoping to keep it secret forever.

    leaves a bad taste in my mouth…no pun intended.

    • Sandra says:

      I agree with you – once she realized her market would crumble with that diagnosis, she waited for the next marketing opportunity. Fraud. Not that you could pay me to eat her garbage, but to have still continued to push that garbage after being diagnosed 3 years earlier? Shameful. Boo hiss to Paula Deen.

  3. MsGoblin says:

    Wow, her response to Al’s questions was medical-marketing textbook perfect.

    Love Anthony’s quip about crutches.

  4. AngelMay says:

    Bourdain’s absolutely right.

    Some people can reverse their diabetes with the right diet, but you don’t see Paula pushing that!

  5. Marjalane says:

    This whole thing is pretty offensive; She’s done show after show showcasing ingredients that have contributed to a lot of people having health issues. I’d feel differently if she’d announced her diabetes, and then after a period of understanding and dealing with the disease, (and losing weight…) she then started shilling for the products, but this way she just looks sneaky and hypocritical. Trust- she doesn’t need the money, lunch for 4 at her Savannah restaurant was almost 300.00!

  6. Agnes says:

    I TOTALLY agree with him. It’s unethical and gross that she’s shilling BOTH the disease (her cooking) and the meds for it. And she’s an irresponsible fool to basically tell people that it’s a total goddamn mystery how people become diabetic. Yes, many factors contribute to it, but in her case it doesn’t take a MD to venture a guess as to what the hell the cause was – eating butter rolled in sugar and deep fried in lard will do it. And she saying that shes made minimal changes to her lifestyle – dumbass, diabetes requires MAJOR changes. A total overhaul. You dont just eat whatever you goddamn want, pop a magic pill, and it’s all good. It’s disgusting.
    And it’s all about cash-money. Gross.

    • Sabrina says:

      My mother has type 2 diabetes due to obesity, and she DOES pop a pill and continue eating the sort of crap Deen pushes (Deen is one of her favorite TV food celebrities). Doubt if Deen will do the same, but the implication that she WILL is definitely there. She has to protect her money-making product at all costs.

      However, her son Bobby now has a show on the Food Network in which he makes low-fat, low-sugar, low-salt versions of her dishes. However, when Paula guests on his show she routinely turns up her nose at them, which has become a weak running gag. Yep.

  7. hstl1 says:

    BTW, she is teaming with Novo Nordisk, NOT Novartis.

    She needs to change her ways or she won’t live long. And smoking+diabetes=amputation in a lot of cases. I had a really serious discussion about this with my doctor last week. My Dad was diabetic and an amputee. He changed his ways at 60 and still lived to 81 albeit with a lot of complications!

  8. Christy says:

    The endorsement deal to me is just nasty and Bourdain is spot on about it. But on the other hand, don’t blame the woman if you are shoveling in fats and sugars all day long. It isn’t Paula Deen’s fault that you are fat and unhealthy. Everything in moderation, folks.

    • JenJen says:

      Absolutely! I’ll admit, butter and sugar and flour and bacon are all delicious, but I don’t eat them (well, hardly ever) because I care more about living a long healthy life than indulging. Plus, my family is prone to diabetes, heart disease, and gout, so being proactive and avoiding most things that will bring the onset of these disease is the responsible thing to do. Obviously Paula doesn’t think that way. It’s more “I’ll do whatever I want and deal with the consequences later”.

      Nobody should “blame” her if they themselves get fat or develop diabetes, just bc she’s shilling fattening garbage doesn’t mean you need to eat it. But only the truly idiotic will go and support the diabetic supply company she’s promoting, knowing what kind of irresponsible moron it at the helm of that advertising campaign.

      The big problem here is saying “eat this incredibly unhealthy stuff I make, and then use this product to control your diabetes.” It’s the same as getting paid to promote Marlboro and also getting paid to promote Nicorette. Pick one or the other, lady.

      This was all a major cash grab on her part. The ironic part is she’ll probably live to be 100 without any major complications.

  9. francesca says:

    Because taking pills and shots with lots of side effects is easier than not stuffing your face with garbage. Way to take the high road, Paula.

  10. SHump76 says:

    Get her, Tony!!
    The fact that she’s trying to downplay how unhealthy her regular recipes are, and how much they would contribute to type 2 diabetes is shameful. Who does she think she’s fooling with all her sudden “moderation” and “minimal changes” to her lifestyle?!

  11. podzol says:

    I really hope that enough people are going to voice out their opinion to Novo Nordisk so that they essential backtrack and drop her as a client. It looks really bad on both of them. In this affair, she’s a hack, at the very least. It’s one thing to stay quiet about having diabetes, because it’s totally in one’s right to keep medical state confidential (even though it might raise eyebrows because one dabbles in the food industry) … it’s another to only come out about it on the heel of a multimillion dollar endorsement deal. YUCK. Bourdain didn’t say it, but we all will: she IS a diabetic scam artist.

  12. Lexi says:

    Mmmmmmmmm ~ does Greed taste good Miss Paula?

  13. bros says:

    again, team Bourdain. its gross and crass to be peddling diabetes meds now that she has it, largely self-inflicted. she should be using this as a wake-up call to her fans, and show them a lifestyle change, instead of basically sending the message that its ok to eat yourself sick, because NOVARTIS BABY!!!!

  14. Lisa says:

    The fact that she is pushing a HELLA expensive NEW diabetic drug…when so many of the NEW diabetic meds that have hit the market in the last 10-years have HORRIFIC side-effects and track records…that bothers me more than anything…I MEAN ANYTHING!!! Because pharma corps push these meds out to the marketplace so friggin’ fast…

    How many folks are gonna be going into financial debt to by this med…that have a REALLY good chance of causing HAVOC (i.e. Avandia)

    So Paula sat on the information…while her folks made SURE that she was able to find a pharma corporate sponsor that will line her pockets and ensure she gets the latest and greatest in diabetic treatment…while pushing a new and VERY expensive drug on her audience who is mostly…working class people…as she STILL pushes food that will bring down a horse if eaten regularly…and judging by her situation…that is obviously true…

    Paula Deen…the PERFECT example of my favorite saying…

    “I wanted to be the knife AND the wound”…

    • bluhare says:

      That’s a great saying, and so appropriate here.

      So here she is, a celbrity chef, and instead of trying to work over her recipes to make them more diabetic friendly, she endorses the latest “get well fast” treatment. As someone else said, people are SO more willing to get a drug that will cure them than actually having to do the work, she’s missing a totally golden opportunity here in favor of the quick buck. She could have used the last three years (or however long since her dx)to test recipes instead of a new drug. Hope you’ve got a liability reserve, Paula, for when people realize that new drug makes their dicks fall off (and the biscuit equivalent!).

    • MSMLNP says:

      PREACH IT! I 100% agree with everything you say. BigPharma is a disgusting enterprise. Research and Development often done with taxpayer dollars in university systems, direct to consumer advertising, provider kickbacks, government lobbying, and paying for a celebrity spokesperson when people who may legitimately need that medicine can’t afford it.

  15. JulieM says:

    I, too, completely agree with AB. Paula Deen is a phony.

    BTW, that’s his wife in the pic with him. She’s a riot. They’ve done a few shows together and Tony has definitely met his match. She grew up in Sardinia. The girl can dish it out. Beautiful daughter, too.

  16. oxa says:

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. The man smokes and drinks on his shows all the time. The only things Bourdain gave up completely were LSD, cocaine, pot and heroin, somehow I don’t see Paula doing those things.
    I sometimes watch her show and enjoy her banter but know it is not possible to eat like that on a regular basis. Just like I drive past a McDonalds 50 times a day but only eat there a few times a year.

    Bottom line- WE responsible for what WE eat, drink and inhale.

  17. Jesa says:

    I knew she was greedy when she signed to promote Smithfield products, knowing how they torture and abuse animals in the most inhumane fashion possible. Then she knowingly smiles and says ” Eat Smithfield ya’ll!” She doesn’t care for anything but the buck. I’ve been boycotting her and Smithfield.

  18. some bitch says:

    My brother’s probably on his way to developing diabetes and fast. His cholesterol is high. He’s seriously overweight, guzzles pop, doesn’t eat anything resembling fresh food (he has the money to buy fresh, but claims to have a “tasting issue” which I honestly don’t buy, once you hit 25 you need to quit being a pussy and eat a salad) and he smokes cigarettes. Am I sympathetic? No, not really. Does he deserve to become diabetic? No. But the choices he’s consistently made over the past 30 years haven’t set him up for years of great physical health. I’m closer towards the other end of the spectrum: I’ve lost 40 pounds and plan to drop another 35, quit smoking and I eat a pretty balanced diet. Most importantly, I do NOT drink soft drinks. Just tea, water and a little milk every day. Fruit juice is a weekly treat.

    I like Paula Deen. She’s a smart businesswoman, seems like she’d be quite nice off-camera, she has enough charisma for me to enjoy watching her and it seems to me she’s actually had to work hard to get to where she is. SHOULD you eat Paula’s cooking every day? Hell no. Her pecan pie is amazing, but it’s something I’d only make it once or twice a year. Any dumbass should be able to figure out that you really shouldn’t eat high fat, high sodium foods day in and day out.

    People seem so hellbent on criticizing somebody over their size, diet, health conditions that we seem to almost exclude or ignore our own faults and vices. Anthony Bourdain seems like a huge, condescending douchebag and I kind of doubt that his own diet is all that better than what Paula eats from day to day.

  19. TheOriginalVictoria says:

    I don’t give a shit if it’s in bad taste and it is, but all these people are hypocrites. How many of them hawk expensive organic foods that aren’t in the budget of the majority of households and have a nerve to be preachy about healthy living? Or US companies that hire migrant workers and pay them shitty wages so they don’t have to pay American workers? Let’s talk about that.

    Even a basic idiot knows you make one or two of her dishes once a month or a few things for a holiday where food will be portioned a bit smaller. And portion control is key. I am not fat or skinny and no one is holding a gun to my head if I shove down a pound of deep fried twinkies (which is gross because who fries twinkies above the mason-dixon line? Lol). Paula does not say eat this way every day though I get the feeling she personally did. But I eat fatty foods often, just in small doses.

    As for her making money off a disease she has, hey it’s a lot better than makin money off of people with diseases you don’t like our entire pharmaceutical (sp?) And healthcare industry.

    I would buy her cookbook before I bought her meds; well, I’d download her cookbook for $free.99 from a trusty link that pirates shit just to thumb my knows at our increasingly dictatorship congress and their hypocritical stance. Censorship greedy capitalists biotches.

  20. Emily says:

    I don’t believe that Giada really eats all that “Everyday Italian” she’s cooking up, and you never watch Paula’s shows thinking “I’m going to make and eat all of this”, so with that in mind I loved Paula Deen. You just file her recipes away for a special occassion/day when that’s what you need/tailgate party.

    But this whole thing seems skeezy…waiting until it’s profitable to announce and then going on tour with it.

  21. Embee says:

    I find her revolting on every level.

  22. Lindy says:

    Here’s a genuine question for those who know more about this than I do:

    Do a lot of chefs smoke? How on earth can you be a good chef when you smoke? Doesn’t that totally obscure your tastebuds and their ability to really discern subtle flavors, nuances and textures, etc? (Honest question, I’m not trying to snark–it just occurred to me since both Deen and Bourdain are smokers. Are they exceptions?)

  23. The Original Mia says:

    I will repeat the mantra I’ve said since douchebag made his comments. He’s got some nerve when he takes Lipitor, mentions the fact he takes it on his show (a form of endorsement), smokes, drinks, and eats as many fattening/unhealthy foods as Paula cooks up.

    STFU, Anthony! You’re a hypocritical food snob!

    • BW says:

      He didn’t bring it up. The journalist pushed him to make a quote.

      • bros says:

        he was just in san fran on his show the layover, and LOVED IT UP. you need to watch and learn before you make blanket statements that are patently false, otherwise all the people that actually do know jump down your throat. funny how facts keep getting in the way.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Do we need to revisit the definition of hypocrisy? Bourdain did not make his millions shilling fatty foods and crappy recipes, he made the bulk of his money traveling around the world and showing people the different foods associated with different cultures. You’ve obviously NEVER watched his show if you call him a “food snob”. The majority of the food he eats in other countries is “street food” from street vendors, which he is constantly raving about. Perhaps you should watch his show or read his book? You seem a bit misinformed…

      • anon says:

        Actually I’m careful not to watch AB show in certain locations while eating.
        I can easily lose my appetite. I don’t dislike Paula at all. I do get hungrier watching her cook (don’t watch often) than I do watching Tony almost anywhere except perhaps Paris/Venice.

      • The Original Mia says:

        He is a food snob. He thinks anything that isn’t made in another country or isn’t exotic is something to be sneered at or dismissed. He has a problem with Paula simply because he doesn’t like the foods she cooks. What part of that is misinformed?

        I think it’s in poor taste for someone to revel in her misfortune without speaking about the many reasons for having Type 2 diabetes (depressed pancreatic function, heredity, etc). If anyone needs to crack a book & become more informed it would be you & Anthony Bourdain!

      • L says:

        @mia Again-you’ve clearly never watched the shows. He’s had some awesome episodes of dining in the US. I’ve never heard him put down any kind of food other than fast food and vegan food (and he’s even rethought his opinion on the latter)

        And yes, while their maybe other reasons for anyone to have Diabetes II, it’s Paula Dean. I think anyone with eyes in their head who has ever seen what the woman eats is going to know where a strong trigger for her disease is.

        And the ‘take a pill and forget it’ (while I get 10 million dollars) is irresponsible and tacky.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        OriginalMia-What are you talking about? Bourdain grew up cooking in the USA and his show travels to many destinations WITHIN THE US (more than any other country). Here’s a list of SOME for you: Boston, Cleveland, NY, Las Vegas, NEw Orleans, Hawaii, Mexico, Montana, Los Angeles, Maine, San Fran, Atlanta, Ohio, Arizona.. Since you are so well-read, how about you pull up the quote where he says that he hates all food that is made in the USA? Because all I ever see him do on No Res is show respect and gratitude for American cuisine. If you read the original full quote (context and all) you would see that he criticizes a LOT of Food Network stars as being fake and shitty cooks. Christ, I can cook better than Dean and yeah, she’s made a fortune from making crap that calls for 3 sticks of butter. It’s fine but it’s time to own up to it. At least Bourdain is drawing attention to GOOD chefs that work their asses off to make GOOD food, most of which is affordable. Its clear to me that you’ve never seen an episode of No Reservations-that’s ok but please don’t pretend that you have because it makes you look silly.

      • anon says:

        I watch his show (reruns and all) and he has eaten some horrible stuff in other countries so I don’t think he qualifies as a food snob. His shows in this country are good,they show him eating at all kind of food places, 5 star to hotdog joints.

  24. normades says:

    Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with proper eating habits. If you continue to eat the same crap and take these drugs, it’s just putting a band aid on a wound that will never heal.

    I find Paula’s money making here immoral in every way.

    A proper diabetes diet is a low-carb diet. The ADA diet is totally off. If you have type 2 diabetes I cannot encourage you enough to start a low carb lifestyle. You will also lose a ton of weight in the process.

    Start by getting this book: The man is a pioneer who truly wants to help diabetics, not make money off them.

  25. BW says:

    The article reads like Bourdain was pushed to respond to questions about Paula Deen. His first response was to not really make a comment, and then the journalist kept pushing for a quote. It’s not like he came after her, but I agree with everything he said.

    My mother has type 2 diabetes, and she really changed her lifestyle to manage it. It’s not a case of moderation. You really have to excercise and change your diet and keep track of your sugar levels and meds.

    I’m vegetarian (no meat, no dairy, low salt, no sugar), and my mother used to give me hell about my diet, but a couple months ago she told me that if she had me cook all her meals she wouldn’t be diabetic because her blood sugar levels are the best right after one of my meals. Now she looks forward to my cooking instead of turning up her nose. I’m curious to hear what my mom has to say about Paula Deen.

  26. Kelly says:

    I had no idea what Paula Deen was about, other than how artificial she looks (egad, those contacts!) until I saw a slideshow on Buzzfeed of 25 of her dishes. Holy deep-fried fat-balls! I was literally gagging while looking at it. Bourdain mentions the bacon cheeseburger on a Krispy-Kreme, but there’s also a deep-fried bagel sandwich, deep-fried stuffing on a stick, deep-fried mac and cheese, deep-fried lasagna,”potato soup” that looks like solid cheese with cheese and sour cream on top. And there’s bacon wrapping anything that can possibly be wrapped.

    It’s totally worth checking out.

  27. maemay says:

    I thought it was interesting when Deen pitted herself against the First Lady when it comes to health eating knowing all along that she had diabetes a disease that has ravaged my family and many families in the US.

    Team Bourdain.

  28. Tiegan says:

    Diabetes scandal aside, she scares the bejeses outta me. What is with those bright white horse teeth and tarantula lashes?

    Never seen her show, but I have a lot of respect for Bourdain.

  29. Blondey says:

    The Pharmaceutical industry is the bigger problem and advertising to naive consumers is mostly immoral to me. Consumers should not be influenced by celebrity endorsers and TV commercials that show “feel-good” images for designer-brand drugs. Leave that advice to trained medical professionals!

    Paula Deen is grabbing the big paycheck before the word gets out and her ratings drop. I think alot of people would make the same gamble. So, I’m “meh” on her.

    Tony…I love it!

    • Kelly says:

      Blondey, this is not necessarily addressed to you personally, but I’m not a fan of when people indict the pharmaceutical industry as a whole. (In fact, I recently ended a first date when the person kept going on and on about “petrochemical Big Pharma.”) I’m sensitive to this issue because I take lithium and a couple other things that pretty much keep me alive; without them, I was constantly suicidal. However, these drugs aren’t advertised because a) they’re generic, b) they’re cheap, c) they’ve been around for a million years, and d) no-one really wants to take them even though they’re life-savers, LOL.

      This diabetes drug, on the other hand, is costly, and I’m not an MD, but doesn’t insulin work well? This is just like advertising anti-depressants – people who don’t know any better, esp. about the side effects, go to the doctor and ask for them because they’ve seen a television commercial.

      • Embee says:

        Great comment. Also needs to be mentioned that the doctors get perks for prescribing the hot, new, patent-protected (no generics) drugs. My personal experience with that was uncomfortable, in that I was prescribed a massive dose of ADD drugs for my “distractability” when, in fact, I was depressed. A little odl school Prozac and I was fine. A friend went through the same and ended up with amphetamine-induced psychosis that cost him his business, his wife and child, his credit and his mental health.

      • fancyamazon says:

        The reason pharmaceutical companies are trying so hard to come up with as many new diabetic medicines as possible is because it is not possible to make a profit off of insulin. Banting made it impossible for anyone to profit from it so that it would be as available as possible forever. So they don’t want to sell you insulin. There are some problems with insulin for some people, but you have to offset that with the side effects of the new drugs as well. Bottom line… as always.

      • Trashaddict says:

        Embee it’s not that simple. Yes the pharmaceuticals do give inducements to doctors to prescribe, but they are often limited by patients’ insurance companies having specific drugs on formulary and having to jump through major hoops to prescribe outside of them.
        Which, while a huge pain in the ass,is not altogether a bad thing. There are lots of doctors who get a ride with big Pharma, but believe it or not there are also lots who think about their patients ahead of profits.

  30. whatevs says:

    wait a minute, she knew all along that she had the disease and she kept preparing those awful dishes and kept her condition a secret? i agree with bourdain on this, it is in really bad taste. and if i were in her shoes i would have announced it long ago and stopped promoting that unhealthy shit. kinda like how the marlboro man did anti smoking ads after finding out he had cancer. she could have used her skills and experience for good, she could have had a tasty foods for diabetics concept all along. prepare healthy foods for diabetics and everyone else… such a shame.

  31. Jules says:

    I was diagnosed with pre diabetes in 2008. I have lost 70 pounds since and now my sugar is normal. Deen is full of crap. I agree with AB 100%. Anyone that follows Deen at this point is a total dupe. She should be ashamed of herself. Money over principles y’all!

  32. Bodhi says:

    One of my friends compared her to the Fairy Godmother in Shrek; all sweet & nice on the outside, but cunning & manipulative on the inside. I think that is a brilliant observation!

    I am & always be Team Tony. He is the real deal. He started out as a dishwasher & worked up his way up to executive chef, just like all of my F&B friends. I know that Paula built her empire from the ground up, but Tony is more “real” to me

  33. lucy2 says:

    A person’s medical issues are their own private business, but when she’s shilling that kind of food knowing this, it’s sketchy.
    Beyond that, the idea of keeping it secret until she could secure a drug endorsement deal is quite gross.

  34. miss_bhaven says:

    Diabetes is a serious disease and she should stop pretending that its not! It is not only putting her health at risk, but the lives of the people that follow her. She should be taken off the air or clean up her recipies. Damn fool.

  35. Nicole says:

    Eh. I’m neutral on the whole thing. I don’t think she eats half of the stuff she cooks on her show all day, every day. I don’t think she believes we should either. Her dishes can be great once in a while, which is likely what they are meant for. It’s the viewers that need commmon sense. But I will say this… I LOVE me some Anthony Bourdain, he is dirty and I love it! Thanks for the pics! ;)

  36. JudyK says:

    I have a million reasons for not being able to stand her, but she’s as bawdy as they come and thinks it’s cute to paw over every man she comes in contact with or ride him like a pony w/ a glass of wine in one hand–i.e., Robert Irvine. I’d be surprised if she has even a 2-digit I.Q.

  37. anne_000 says:


    “[Bourdain] said, “The worst, most dangerous person to America is clearly Paula Deen. She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she’s proud of the fact that her food is [bleep]ing bad for you . . . plus, her food sucks.”

    “Anthony Bourdain needs to get a life. You don’t have to like my food, or Rachael’s, Sandra’s and Guy’s. But it’s another thing to attack our character. I wake up every morning happy for where I am in life. It’s not all about the cooking, but the fact that I can contribute by using my influence to help people all over the country. In the last two years, my partners and I have fed more than 10 million hungry people by bringing meat to food banks.”

    So Bourdain was right about her connection with a corporation, though I don’t know if he knew about the Big Pharma corp. And some of her food isn’t healthy for you on a regular basis especially if you’re a diabetic.

    I dunno how Deen could be “happy” concealing for three years that she’s had diabetes type 2 while she’s pushing recipes that aren’t good for diabetics. And it does count towards her “character” when the time to finally admit it came when she got a paid sponsorship from a diabetes med corp.

    And I believe she was only a very minor factor in buying enough meat to feed 10 million people in 2 years. I think that onus was placed upon her “partners.” And yet somehow I don’t believe it was 10 million at all. Do you realize how much meat that would have to be? Either those portions of meat were very small or in just two years, they culled 2.5 million chickens or 100,000 cows or 5 million fish, by my rough estimates…

    I found the leg breaking/sell crutches line to be very funny. Maybe her future cookbooks will have diabetes med ads & coupons.

  38. Sloan says:

    Is Deen taking marketing advise from the Kardashians
    go Anthony

  39. Seany D says:

    Team Bourdain, as always and forever.

  40. Mingy says:

    lol at the ongoing beef these two have..i’m in love with bourdain. his new show “the layover” is best friend saw him at a restaurant when he was filming the show in my city (montreal)..i was jealous/excited/pissed at the same time cuz shes not even a fan like i am :)

    anyway shame on paula..

  41. ezra says:

    I always liked Anthony Bourdain.
    He’s acerbic yet honest.
    Paula Dean ,on the other hand, is phony as hell.

  42. Andrea says:

    Unrelated subject, Cebitchy, your Fassie was on Charlie Rose, have u seen it? Maybe that is a silly question… :) Anyway, I had to give a heads up since you love all things Fassbender. He is a delight in the interview.

  43. Turd Fergussen says:

    Who says that just because you’re a chef you’re obligated to prepare nothing but healthy food? Like Bourdain is beyond melting a stick or two of butter in a pan and making something scrumptious. To him I say, bitch please.

    Or maybe he’s pissed because Deen came from nothing and is more of a household name (perhaps because she doesn’t have the personality of a shit pie, like AB) than he is. Judgey bastard.

    • badrockandroll says:

      I don’t even know where to start. no one is saying that a chef should offer only healthy food. Certainly AB has never said that. Please read his book, where he takes himself to task for his dislike of shills like Dean and Ray, and his reconciliation with Emeril. And if Dean is a household name, what does that say about the household that prefers to open some cans of peas, some icing and crank up the deep fryer? That’s not cooking, that’s assembling of crack food. And I would rather spend some time with a “shit pie” than with someone like Paula.

      Read about Smithfield hams – they mistreat their animals, their labour force and the environment, all for products that are not terribly tasty. Anyone who truly cares about food, animals, human beings or the planet would not endorse such a thing as those hams.

      On second thought, it’s a perfect match.

      • It is ME!! says:

        Well said, badrockandroll.

      • normades says:

        @Bad RnR: Once again spot on as usual. Thank you for your consistently smart posts.

      • badrockandroll says:

        Why, thanks to both of you. Who would have thought that a Paula Dean item gets almost as many comments as a JA post?

        It has been pointed out by food bloggers that Paula’s revelation of her medical condition was timed, not just for her pharmeceutical endorsement, but to help her sons promote their venture of light takes on their mama’s food.

        I can’t blame people for trying to catch the gravy train (hah!)of endorsements while they can, and some celebrity endorsements are beautiful matches. But Paula Deen and her sons have overdone it with books, magazines, cookware, television shows, spices, condiments, furniture, candles, stationery, ham, butter flavoured lip balm and now drugs.

  44. Cirque28 says:

    It’s completely lame of Paula Deen to be doing this doughnuts + prescriptions = $$$ schtick. However, I don’t like the moralizing tone and the attitude of superiority that we use to speak of diet. Heaping shame on unhealthy people/eaters of deep fried things/smokers is simply a modern, more politically correct version of heaping shame on fat people.

    Paula Deen is successful because she offers people more, which can’t help but be appealing in our starved culture. Instead of being Puritans about it and demanding less, we should be pushing a better alternative. I think Weston Price made the point that we are overfed and undernourished. Undernourished in every possible way. And we need more sunshine, more exercise, more vegetables, more family time, more sleep, more love… more, more, more.

  45. It is ME!! says:

    Okay, I am sorry, but how in the sam hell is a cheeseburger between two doughnuts considered “cooking,” let alone “food?” That is not food, it is pig slop. It sounds like something a crazy 8th grade home economics student would dream up. Don’t even get me started on the deep fried butter crap. If you eat her “food,” you are crazy.

    And to try and downplay that her dietary choices had anything to do with her diabetes to Al Roker, someone who had to have gastric bypass surgery and has mostly maintained a healthy weight (via diet and exercise)…..if I was Roker, I would have given her a huge “Bitch, please!”

  46. e.non says:

    this woman’s schtick feeds into that whole ‘eff those elitist snobs telling me what to eat, y’all’ …

    afterall, had she promoted healthy eating, her program would never have stood out; she never would have gotten the endorsement deals; she would have suffered diabetes in silence — and without that healthy spokesmodel contract.

    what a fraud.

  47. JuJuBee says:

    Paula Deen is a vile and greedy person. She’s as disgusting as her doughnut hamburger. Nowhere, in all of her talk, have I heard her address the importance of diet and excercise. Those two factors are incredibly important in controlling and living with Type 2 Diabetes. Nope, instead she completely sold out and is now pushing drugs. Her fans should be disgusted that she kept this a secret for three years until she could figure out a way to profit from it.

  48. Pizzazz says:

    I really could care less about this story but I used to enjoy Bourdain quite a bit. Now, when I watch Bourdain’s show, which is a pale version of its former glory, it’s obvious what a sell-out, boring loser he’s become in the past few years thanks to the new wife and kid. And frankly, he looks kinda fat himself (whereas I used to think he was pretty hot when he was lean and constantly boozed/drugged up). I don’t blame him for wanting to clean up his life for the sake of his child. That’s a good thing. But his show is stupid and very unoriginal now (should have quit it) and his constant talking about Paula Dean and how fat she’s making everyone (considering he eats all kinds of fatty foods on his show) is very hypocritical.

  49. Henriette says:

    As any of the current Republicans could tell you, you’re on your own, and tough titty if you ignore the warning on cigarettes, or ignore conventional wisdom regarding eating chicken-fried steak, steak-fried chicken, and a side of fried Cool Whip, plus little or no exercise. The consequences of these things aren’t secrets. Bourdain is 100% spot-on about the over-the-top craftiness and greed of Deen, but what he could have added is the total contempt Deen has for her audience… that the potential harm she can do to her gullible fans wasn’t and isn’t even a blip on her screen.

  50. Cilo says:

    The more people in America speak out for healthy lifestyle and cooking habits the better. I visited America twice as a tourist and as a student, and I was completely shocked about peoples eating habits and about the many, many overweight people on the street. People like Deen are irresponsible!

    • Zoe says:

      Lived in Europe and Europeans eat a lot, more than Americans. Pastas, rich sauces, breads, fatty foods. The differences isn’t necessarily eating habits but action habits. I was shocked they ate so many rich foods, large quantities and stay thin. Americas aren’t as active. Also there are hidden additives in American food: hormones, corn, salt, sugar. Things that other countries don’t place into their food. Eating out of a box is also a bad habit. Americans need to cook more and rely less prepared foods.

      • Cilo says:

        Dont know about quantities, I just remember students went to get potato chips or cookies instead of a banana or a salad when they were hungry. Everybody was into junk food. I thought it was really terrible!

      • It is ME!! says:

        Zoe, I have lived in Europe in the past, and live in Europe now, and I partially agree with you. Europeans do eat a lot, but they seem to eat a) more varieties of food, b) tend to eat stuff that is in season, c) have their big meal in the middle of the day, instead of the end, d) many seem to follow the 5 small meals a day way, and e) they don’t rush their food; they take time to savor it instead of just relying on fast food.

        They do use A LOT less additives, and are far more active than the majority of Americans. It is fascinating to see their different take on food. We could learn a thing or two from them!

      • It is ME!! says:

        Oh, and one more thing: Europeans tend to ruin all that good, healthy eating by SMOKING LIKE CHIMNEYS!

        A problem that Paula herself (and Bourdain, in the past) has. (Or had. Did she quit?)

      • normades says:

        I think it’s a question of quality, not quantity. In Europe GM foods are largely banned, breads contain less gluten, milks less lactose. I have many friends come to from the US who say they can eat and support certain foods in Europe that their body won’t tolerate in the States.

      • duncecap says:

        European portions aren’t as big as they seem. On average europeans eat slower than americans. They chew more and talk more as they eat. That gives the stomach more time to sense when it’s full.

        It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to get the full signal. An interesting side-note– it doesn’t take much to make the stomach full. The average stomach organ isn’t much bigger than a fist. But the nerves in it are slow to react.
        That’s why eating small, slow meals is beneficial. American meals– in 10 minute breaks in between work hours, in the car while getting dry -cleaning, a few bites while wrangling the rug-rats? We have no idea how much we’re eating at any given time because we’re doing chores, watching tv, or on the road. In the span of a few large bites we’ve filled it to capacity and keep going and going.

        A lot of countries like japan consciously or unconciously follow the 8/10ths full rule. Eat until you feel 80% full. They also don’t seem to have the american stigma of leaving food on your plate.

  51. Lisa says:

    Bourdain’s gross.

    Deen is hungry for money, and anything that doesn’t protest too much when she spears it with a fork.

    She was so pathetic on The Chew today, crying about this being a “boomer disease.” Only if you neglect yourself. My mom’s 62 and is thin, no diabetes, no high blood pressure, or anything else she listed. If you age thinking you’re fated to disease, you’re going to end up in rough shape.

  52. Zoe says:

    Bourdain was right a few months ago, and now he’s right again. Paula is a hypocrite. You can dislike Bourdain because he’s tactless and a jerk but at least he’s not a hypocrite.

  53. Emily says:

    I work in a community health centre, where we have a lot of diabetic clients. These are people who are working with diabetes nurses and nutritionists to improve their diets, and podiatrists to try to prevent them needing foot amputations. For someone to market this sort of food knowing she has diabetes is disgusting. Of course people should be intelligent enough to realise that a hamburger in between doughnuts is going to fuck up their body, but people are also stupid, and this is irresponsible.

  54. hayduke says:

    As a Chef that has been a long time fan of Tony working at a place recently acquired by a huge fan of Paula, who is just as phony as she is, I’m sorry to hear Paula has DT2, but Karma is a Bitch Y’all.

    The whole Southern thing is an act, she’s from Connecticut.

  55. Snowflake says:

    Isn’t most gourmet food fattening? Cream sauce, etc. so how is Paula’s food any worse? not that i watch either one’s shows.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      I think a lot of it has to do with the nature of the additive that is added to a lot of out-of-the-box dining. Cream sauce is fatty, but you know what’s in it. Go for the types of products used in Deen’s food and you’re going to run into all kinds of corn products and sodium, which isn’t so great for the ‘y’all’. Also, North Americans are guilty of a sedentary lifestyle, so that’s not helping anyone.

    • duncecap says:

      Most “gourmet” food is meant to be an experience– first for the eyes, then the nose, texture, and taste. It’s also meant to be eaten leisurely and in small portions. I don’t think that’s the method most people use when they eat a hamburger made out of doughnuts and bacon.

      I find it horrible that NOW she lays on the “moderation” disclaimer. I don’t know how you could eat her food in moderation. A healthy portion of her meals would be one bite. Or to cut up a sandwich and find 10 people to split it with. No one does that.

  56. tmbg says:

    I don’t think the blame for eating poorly should be put on Paula – it rests squarely on the shoulders of those who blindly follow her recipes without a thought as to what it might be doing to their body.

    Seriously, I learned in high school health class that too much butter, sugar and fatty meat is unhealthy. I actually knew it beforehand just because it was on the news, in magazines, etc. If you honestly can’t figure this out for yourself, you have a problem.

    My own grandparents eat this way (not because of any TV show – it’s just the way they eat) and then sit and wonder, “Why is my heart enlarged? Why do we have diabetes? Why is my blood pressure sky-high?” It leaves my parents face-palming because there’s no getting through to them that full-fat everything, sausage, bacon, butter and other crap is the problem.

    Most recipes can be altered to be healthier, so you might be able to take some of Paula’s and doctor them up so you’re not killing your arteries, but if not, just stay away from her show.

  57. machiavelli says:

    Gross and crass. Just like her teeth and eyelashes. I saw her on guest spots on talk shows. I could not stand to watch this woman behave in such undignified manner. Tasteless. The photos of her riding Chef Irvine. OMG!!! Imagine our mothers/grandmothers acting that way. Why???!!!

  58. kibbles says:

    I agree with a lot of what people are saying here. I said in the previous post about Deen that shilling for a diabetic drug while selling deep fried foods is unethical. But so are other celebrity endorsements that no one seems to care about. And none of those other celebrities released their health records to the public before shilling for a certain drug or food product. So Deen is not so different from a lot of other chefs and celebrities.

    At the same time, I admire her business smarts and the empire she has built for herself. Very few celebrities get to the place where Deen is today without being at least a bit of a hack or a hypocrite and that includes Anthony Bourdain.

    I only watch shows online now so I do not subscribe to cable. When I was in school, I had cable for a year and loved watching the Food Network. I thought Deen to be hilarious. Anyone with a brain should know not to eat her meals everyday if you don’t want to be morbidly obese. But in this day in age when we have so many hacks selling every diet, vitamin supplement, and exercise equipment imaginable, Deen presents down home cooking that a lot of people can relate to and which can be very delicious and okay to eat several times a year during holidays or reunions.

    I have noticed a lot of classism and fat discrimination in many people’s attacks against Deen. Many people also continue to promote myths on diabetes such as only fat people can get type 2 diabetes or that all people who have the disease brought it on themselves. See here for the facts:

    This is also a very good article describing the hypocrisy behind many of these attacks:

    As much as there needs to be massive changes made to school lunches and sports programs to get kids moving, what tends to be ignored is the extreme socio-economic divide between the rich and poor and the way they live – especially during these hard economic times. I read a statistic somewhere that McDonald’s is one of America’s largest employers. When parents are struggling to make ends meet and making minimum wage at a fast food joint or Walmart, I can’t blame them if what they bring home is food they managed to sneak into their purse at work.

    It is also important to note that not all fat people are unhealthy and not all skinny people are healthy. As I mentioned in the previous post on Deen, most of us will eventually die from poor decisions made early on whether it be overeating, extreme dieting, drug use, smoking, excessive drinking, sitting on our ass at work all day, among other things. None of us our saints including Anthony Bourdain. To me he is just another snob who looks down on people who are either not as educated or can’t afford to eat the way he does. In the few times I’ve seen his show, he isn’t exactly a health food nut either.

    Yes, criticize Deen but some of these attacks go much too far. She is not responsible for millions of Americans not having health care, a collapsing public education system, or not having a job that pays well enough to feed their families well. Blame our politicians in Washington for that.

    • Cirque28 says:

      Yes! Thank you. Love the Daily Beast link.

    • duncecap says:

      How is it classist to denounce unhealthy eating and praise a healthier lifestyle. It’s equally ignorant to assume that healthier choices are only available to a certain economic-social class. Healthy eating can be cheap and accessible. Yes, people who work for McDonalds bring the food home. Yes, some neighborhoods don’t even have grocery stores.

      But hasn’t McDonalds and it’s kind revamped their menus in the past 10 years to include salads, fruits and such? There are healthy choices even in fast food joints– but only about 5% of the customers eat the healtier meals.

      And the healthiest foods in the world are often poor people food, or peasant food. You can learn a lot by looking at it as a whole– brown rice (higher classes often ate white rice), lentils, roots, fish.

      Assuming healthy food is an elitist thing is the funniest thing I hear the naysayers say.

      And yeah, diabetes is sometimes genetic, sometimes a confluence of forces. But even losing 5% of your body weight signifigantly improves quality of life and lifespan. Healthy choices aren’t the olympian feat people pretend it is.

  59. telesma says:

    I used to like her when she first started out with the Lady & Sons cookbook, and then she took up Emeril’s gimmick of catering to food “sinners” and her drawl got more southern fried with every passing year. Then I began to despise her.

    What I mean by food “sinners” is people who think that to be good food must be “naughty” and bad for you, and people who know how unhealthy something is and get a dirty little thrill out of eating it anyway either because they’re contrary by nature or because they’re used to living with food guilt anytime they enjoy food. There’s a whole psychology there that I liken to religious guilt about sex.

    Obviously anything designed to appeal to them is not going to appeal to health nuts, dieters, and the Posh Spices of the world – the people who live on green tea and air, but it’s also not really going to appeal to sensible eaters.

    And here’s the thing: I’m not a big fan of Anthony Bourdain’s. I agree with him a lot of the time, and he pretty much has my dream job, but I also think he’s kind of an arrogant prick. I just happen to agree with him about Paula Deen.

  60. Lady LaLa says:

    Remember when BB King was doing both the Diabetes Commercials AND the Burger King commercials at the same time??? Paula Deen should take her recipes and “lighten’em up, y’all” She’d prob make more $$, and live a healthier lifestyle.

  61. Laura says:

    She actually IS making a show to lighten up the recipes–or her son is. And moderation is the key. People aren’t bitching and moaning about French cooking which features butter, meats, etc. just as much. Paula Deen is diabetic because she is OVERWEIGHT and does not exercise enough. She does not practice what the French do–portion control and exercise. Change her recipes? Yes. Advertise her disease? Why not. Support a certain treatment–she isn’t a doctor so it isn’t against the law.
    I’m far more offended by the shows on the Travel Channel and Food Channel where some guy goes to various “restaurants” just to gorge himself with whatever “special” the restaurant has in gigantic portions. They pile 20 ingredients together into something approaching a hamburger, or enchilada , or whatever, then cram it into his stomach as fast as he can. Are you friggin kidding? THAT is far more disgusting than a recipe with butter or mayonnaise in it that you should only be fixing on an OCCASSIONAL basis and just taking a small portion of. Geez people. Get real.

    • duncecap says:

      She actually IS making a show to lighten up the recipes–or her son is.

      Someone give that woman a medal!

      Seriously, weak. I remember a holiday episode years ago when she pitted her sons against each other in a cooking competition. One of them did a traditional dish, and the other did a “healthy” dish. Paula hemmed and hawed and eventually chose the “healthy” dish. But the look of disdain on her face was priceless. She loves the image of unhealthy food. It represents abandon and sinfulness and maybe even subversiveness. Even when healthy food tastes better, she won’t like it.

      I digress. There’s no way to eat her food in moderation. As I said before, if you made her doughnut cheeseburger, you’d have to split it among ten people, and no one ever does that. I remember an episode of The Biggest Loser where Gillian made the contestants share a giant pretzel. People actually got mad. Messageboards were all like “I want to eat the whole giant pretzel!” Geeze. You weren’t in the episode. She wasn’t making YOU share. But that’s how people think. If they make the whole sandwich or buy the whole pretzel, they’ll eat it all in a few gulps.

      The travel show you mention? Man Vs. Food? The host Adam Richman, has said that he can’t eat the food on the show in real life anymore. People who know him and see him grocery stores will be disappointed when they see what he’s bought– carts or bags full of fruit and veggies and organic things. He now goes to farmer’s markets. He’s quoted as saying “Ooh, starfruit is in season”. While the show is kind of horrifying and gross sometimes, he knows its gonna kill him. It’s professional separation between work and homelife that he maintains now out of necessity. In fact, in recent years he eats less of the food and has viewers do the competitions now. An equally bad message, but I now think he’ll outlive Paula.

      eta: I think Betty White will outlive them both.

    • normades says:

      @Laura: Sorry. As someone who is borderline Diabetic and regularly takes her blood sugar, I don’t agree with your post. Deen will try to go “light”, but I’m sure it will be misguided. A true diabetes diet is low carb. That means NO bread, pasta potatos rice of any kind.

      I eat HUGE amounts of food and am super thin with low blood sugars because I eat an organic Paleo style diet.

  62. Kandykane says:

    I CAN’T STAND that crazy bewigged clown that is Paula Deen. The old bitch creates the nastiest shit out there and no boo-hoos from me over the old bitch’s diabetes. Stupid old cunt had it coming. As for Anthony Bourdain, I LOVE ME some Anthony Bourdain …hmmmm hmmmmm good.

  63. normades says:

    It’s all about the carbs folks!!! If you have Diabetes please check out the link I posted above!

  64. tomd says:

    Plenty of people in our society who are willing to sell their souls for big money, add Paula to the list. Just another human disappointment. What’s next Paula – a show on how the Kardashian’s are such great role models for today’s young women?