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Paula Deen Announces Diabetes Diagnosis, Justifies Pharma Sponsorship

Food Network lady Paula Deen has type 2 diabetes. It was rumored last week that she would soon announce her diagnosis, and this morning she visited the Today Show to do just that. Oh, and she also announced her partnership with drug company Novo Nordisk, who manufactures a diabetes drug you will find named in every single article written about the news. What serendipitous timing for a rumored multi-million dollar sponsorship deal.

Deen told Al Roker that she's known about the diagnosis for three years. And today she launched he new sponsored "Diabetes in a New Light" program with Novo Nordisk, who Deen says approached her to create some diabetes-friendly recipes before knowing of her diagnosis. She will also be appearing in ads for their diabetes drug with her sons, Jamie and Bobby.

So now Paula Deen the Butter Queen is shilling for a drug company that treats a disease caused by an unhealthy diet that she has developed. Or, as Anthony Bourdain told Eater, "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."

She doesn't say she was waiting on a lucrative drugs partnership to announce her diagnosis, though. No, after she got the news, "I made the choice at the time to keep it close to me, to keep it close to my chest," Deen told USA Today. "I knew when it was time, it would be in God's time." Which seems to be now. Good thing that new diabetes program is ready on the same schedule.

Deen responds to her critics by telling Al Roker:

I've always eaten in moderation. People see me on TV two or three times a day... It's for entertainment... It's like I told Oprah a few years back. I said 'Honey, I'm your cook, not your doctor.' You have got to be responsible for yourself.

Roker doesn't really push the issue, as you can see in the video below.

Video: Paula Deen on the Today Show

· Paula Deen Spreads Word About Diabetes [USA Today]