Paula Deen is on the cover of People magazine this week, talking about her 30-pound weight loss. While it’s still incredibly shady that the TV chef had diabetes for three years before announcing her diagnosis (and her partnership with diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk), I’m glad to see that she’s committed to improving her health—and being honest about it with the public.
This isn’t the first time Paula has talked publicly about her weight loss; she discussed it on The View back in May, to mixed reactions from fans. But the cover of People magazine is a different forum. Millions of people in the drugstore, the grocery store and the airport will see her there on the cover, looking happy—and noticeably thinner.
She doesn’t “owe” her weight loss to her fans; I don’t think she’s necessarily to blame for encouraging people to eat the unhealthy food she cooks on her show. After all, we’re all responsible for our own eating habits, right? But after the huge public outcry that occurred as a result of her announcement that she has diabetes (remember how pissed off Anthony Bourdain was?), it’s a good move on her part, if only for the positive press she’ll receive.
I definitely think that this public acknowledgement of “The Butter Queen’s” weight loss is an important step in the right direction. No matter what your opinion of her or her cooking might be, Paula is a prominent public figure, and people are now interested in her body, her health, and her diet. She told People:
“I do think differently now [about food]. I’m more aware.”
No word from the magazine on whether or not Paula has incorporated exercise into her new healthy lifestyle (although she has posted Facebook photos of herself getting sweaty on an elliptical trainer), but apparently she’s been eating healthier fare like Greek salads and baked fish. I may not agree with everything Paula Deen does, but I definitely applaud her for being open about her new lifestyle. Her issue of People also features some healthy recipes, and I’m eager to see what she’s come up with; Americans could always use more information and advice about how to cook tasty food that’s actually good for you, too.