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Now, I’m no fan of Paula Deen. I never have been. This has zero to do with the type of food she makes (though honestly even as a Southerner I’m generally not a fan of stereotypically Southern foods) and more to do with the food company she endorses like an evangelical preacher on Sunday, Smithfield Farms, and all of their tremendously hideous policies. And yes, even as a Southerner I find her constant “HEY, Y’ALL!” enormously grating. I found her obsession with butter comedic at best– I mean after all, sometimes things just genuinely taste better with olive oil. Besides, I’m way less likely to screw up and burn olive oil at the bottom of my frying pan and stink up the entire house.

She likes butter. We got it.

But what I’m really not down with is all this vilifying everyone’s doing of her now that it’s come out that she has diabetes. Especially attitudes like this where we essentially do a bunch of victim blaming. Let’s break this article down into a few bullet points.

  • It is absolutely 100% for sure positive that Paula Deen contracted diabetes as a result of her eating habits.
  • Diseases like diabetes are a horrible, horrible curse and to have them means you are a lesser being. Indeed, they are meted out by the divine as a punishment to all wrongdoers.
  • And gosh, besides, all you have to do to avoid getting diabetes is not be a lazy fatass. Go lose some weight, butterface.

I would like to note that the article outright admits it’s contradicting what the American Diabetes Association (you know, the dudes who know a bunch of stuff about diabetes) says:

Heredity, according to the American Diabetes Association, always plays some part. “You can’t just eat your way to Type 2 diabetes,” said Geralyn Spollett, the group’s director of education.

Which is true. We all know people who are perfectly healthy and still get diabetes anyway– that’s the crappy thing about diseases. Sometimes you get lung cancer from smoking, sometimes you just get lung cancer. But we live in a world where everything is somehow your fault. Shit doesn’t happen, it happened because you did something wrong. You didn’t just get a cold, you were stupid enough to go outside without your coat on. Your kid isn’t someone with dissociative mental disorders who just needs treatment, you fucked up as a parent and probably let them play too many video games. We love the blame game and over the years we’ve become pros at it.

So Marion decides that the ADA is wrong. Because she says so.

Wrong.  You most definitely can eat your way to type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to overweight and obesity.  No, not everyone who is overweight develops type 2 diabetes.  But most people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight.

The first line of defense?  Lose a few pounds.  Even a relatively small reversal of calorie balance can make symptoms of type 2 diabetes disappear and reduce or eliminate the need for drugs.

Mrs. Deen does not mention weight as a factor in her disease, or losing weight as an effective treatment.

Could that be because.. her weight wasn’t a factor in her disease? We have zero idea how obesity affects diabetes. I did some poking around and almost every site will throw percentages at you. Anywhere from 40-85% of people with type two diabetes are overweight depending on which study you read, but that really tells us fuck-all about how the two are connected. I can throw any two random statistics together too! 79% of CEO’s are overweight. Money makes you fat! Better cut back on those salaries, guys.

(And as a side note in case you’re curious, I did discover that all those studies that talk about obesity lowering your sex drive? Are only referring to male sex drives. How unheard of that they choose to apply a male-centric study to the entire population!)

What I hate the most about all of this is it treats diet and exercise as an acceptable substitute for medication. The follow-through there is if you end up having to take medication it’s because you failed. Medication is an end result of you not being able to control your own body properly. And this mentality is applied to all kinds of medication, both physical and psychological. We’ve somehow created a world where medication is a sign of failure instead of a relief. A way to provide for your body/mind and increase your quality of life.

Not that it should really be a huge surprise since we’ve been punishing sick people for years. Sick people are burdens on our insurance programs! They slovenly take advantage of a system that was put there to– take care of them. How dare they. We’ve become a nation that for all it’s claims of being a Christian nation by it’s majority, for all it’s lip-service about wanting to help our fellow man, really doesn’t give a shit. We don’t want to help people. We don’t want to make people better. We want to provide four us and ours and if we’re fine, well to hell with everyone else.

Back the hell off of Paula Deen. It takes a lot of courage to come out as having a disease in this society. How and why she got it is no one’s business but hers and her doctors. And you have zero place shaming someone for having a disease just because you, with no evidence beyond your own word, think that people who eat fatty foods get what they deserve.

Believing that people who are fat have somehow through their gratuitous and wanton glutting have earned their diabetes doesn’t make you an edgy, truthful, in-your-face slice of reality. It makes you a bigoted, judgmental asshole who clearly knows dick about what it means to be fat.