Television celebrity chef Paula Deen told People magazine that she has dropped two pant sizes since she admitted to viewers last month that she had type 2 diabetes. Deen was diagnosed with the chronic disease three years ago but opted to keep mum and continue featuring high-fat, sugar-loaded recipes on her Food Network television program. She didn’t choose to go public with her diagnosis until she signed on to be a paid spokesperson for the new diabetes treatment Victoza.
Deen has received criticism for not coming clean about her diagnosis sooner while continuing to cook up frightfully fattening fare. Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, including diets high in fat and sugar. About 26 million Americans have diabetes, and about a third of those are undiagnosed, according to the American Diabetes Association.
“I’ve dropped two pant sizes and I feel great,” Deen told People, adding that she achieved the loss in girth by walking 30 minutes a day and eating about half of what she used to. She also has reportedly given up sipping sweet tea throughout the day. “We don’t own a scale at home. Every six months I go for a physical and find out. Now it’s time to see the doctor. She’ll be so happy if I’ve lost weight.”
Earlier this month 30 Rock actor Alec Baldwin narrowly averted a diagnosis of diabetes when he was dubbed “pre-diabetic” by his doctor. The actor shed 30 pounds by eating healthier foods and getting more active. Most patients aren’t as lucky – or as dedicated to following a healthy lifestyle – as Baldwin and many have to rely on medications to keep their blood sugar levels in check. Even with the help of diabetic medications, patients need to be monitored.
Deen’s diabetes drug of choice, Victoza, carries a warning for thyroid cancer. And last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public about two other type 2 diabetes drugs – Avandia and Actos. Avandia was severely restricted because it was associated with serious and often fatal heart attacks, and Actos received stronger warnings for its potential to cause bladder cancer.
ACTOS is a trademark of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and used under license by Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. AVANDIA is a registered trademark of GlaxoSmithKline.